In news– Recently, a team of Indian researchers have developed a compound called “6BIO” that can provide a better method to treat Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
- This is the first compound that has been proved in pre-clinical evaluation to have the potential for improving daily activities like learning and recollecting new tasks in patients with ASD/ Intellectual disability (ID).
- The present work was led by Vijaya Verma and other authors from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous research institute of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India.
- In their work, researchers have demonstrated the potential of 6BIO, to treat ASD/Intellectual disability (ID) in a preclinical mouse model called Syngap1+/-.
- 6BIO restored the neural functions not only when administered during development (equivalent of baby (1-2 years) and childhood stages (3-6 years)) but also after mid-childhood (7-11 years) when most of the brain regions are considered to have formed properly.
- Previous studies have attributed disruption in optimal brain development, mainly neuronal connections, during the early stage of development (i.e., babies/childhood) as one of the causes of ASD/ID.
- Data from the current study indicate that 6BIO can help children with ASD learn and recall, be social, and alleviate other symptoms such as seizures or sleep issues.
About Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)–
- ASD is a developmental disability that is characterized by challenges with social interactions, social skills, /restricted/repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.
- Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.
- It occurs in all ethnic, racial, and economic groups.
- Although ASD can be a lifelong disorder, treatments and services can improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function.
- There is no appropriate pharmacological or genetic method to treat ASD/ID.
- Current therapeutics to treat ASD aim to alleviate symptoms such as epileptic seizures or sleep issues but not to treat the multiple problems of ASD/ID.
- A major challenge in finding better therapeutics to treat ASD is the potency of the drug to help the patients to perform their daily activities with efficiency close to that of a healthy person.
- Achieving this is particularly difficult after a certain age, especially from the mid-childhood stages.