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TB drug 'could treat autism'

TB drug 'could treat autism'
9th December 2010

A drug originally developed to fight tuberculosis (TB) could be used to treat people with autism spectrum disorders, a study has revealed.

Researchers at the Eastern Virginia Medical School used D-Cyloserine on mouse models, finding that the drug improved sociability in a certain strain of mouse that is known for displaying limited social behaviour.

The scientists hypothesise that the same effect could be produced in humans, helping people with autism to gain employment and live independently.

"What makes this important is you might have someone with a 125 or 130 IQ who's unemployable because of their social impairments," said Maria R Urbano, associated professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the school.

Earlier this month, new findings from the University of Missouri announced that they are developing a "social competence curriculum", featuring a virtual classroom component, in order to help educators to meet the needs of people with autism.

Find out about Barchester's support for adults and children with a wide range of Autistic spectrum conditions