Suramin, a 100 year-old drug that can help autistic kids
The administration of a single 100-year dose of suramin drugs – originally developed to treat African sleeping sickness – may improve the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children, according to a study.
During the study, four children who received the suramin infusion showed an improvement in social and linguistic behavior, which was repeated or repetitive behaviors and coping skills.
The most disturbed behaviors were social communication and play, speech and language, calm and attention, repetitive behaviors and coping skills, the researchers said.
“During the time that children were Suramina, she enjoys all her usual therapies and enrichment programs have increased dramatically,” said lead author Robert K Naviaux, a professor at the University of California at San Diego.
It is important to note that suramin resulted in significant improvements in language and social interactions in a 14-year-old boy who had not uttered a complete sentence in 12 years.
“We had four non-verbal children in the study, two children aged 6 years and two children aged 14. Six- and 14-year-olds who received suramin reported the first sentence of their life about one week after the Suramine infusion alone This does not happen in any of the children who received placebo, “added M. Naviaux.
The results were reported in Clinical and Translational Annals of Neurology.
According to Naviaux, autism is caused by metabolic dysfunction or communication between altered cells in the brain, intestine and immune system, as a result of abnormal persistence of response to cellular hazard (CDR) – natural cell reaction and Against injury or stress.
Sura works by inhibiting the signaling function of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – a small molecule released from the cell as a warning sign.
When CDR is enabled, the effect of extracellular ATP is like a siren warning that never stops.
Suramina siren hisses, the “cellular signaling of the war is over, the danger has passed and the cells can return to jobs in” peace time “such as neurological development, normal growth and healing,” Naviaux said.
However, the therapeutic benefit of suramin was temporary while the improvements have hit the ceiling and gradually disappeared after several weeks, according to the single dose of suramin, the researchers said.