Monday, May 9, 2011

Acne Drug Miracle for Intellectual Disabilities?

Minocycline, long used as a drug to treat acne, is showing promise in the treatment of intellectual disabilities associated with Fragile X syndrome, autism, and other intellectual disorders.

This medication reduces brain inflammation and suppresses MMP-9, a protein commonly overproduced in the brains of those with Fragile X syndrome. This protein interfers with normal neural development. Other side effects include a graying of the teeth. A few study participants also demonstrated blood test results indicative of an autoimmune disorder, but no other symptoms.

Trials of other medications to treat intellectual disabilities are also underway. Three inhibit production of another overproduced protein. The fourth appears to reduce hyperactivity and hypersensitivity. This medication, Arbaclofen, may help the same symptoms in those with autism.