Autism, which is a neurological disorder and as well as a genetic disorder, is widely spread in our population. If we look the CDC reports, the 2010 data report shows that 1 out of 68 children was found with autistic disorders in the U.S.
More or less, we all know the autistic symptoms. And they are like,
- Lack of verbal communication
- Lack of eye contacts
- Repetitive behaviors
- Cognitive disabilities
and many more.
In one sentence, all these symptoms represent the social skill impairment of an autistic child. But if it is overlooked and early diagnosis and treatment had not been done and continued, then in adulthood the autistic symptoms can turn into other brain diseases like, schizophrenia, epilepsy, etc.
So, that was the part of awareness. Now we should focus on how to treat this social curse.
One common thing we can do is to keep ourselves up to date about recent findings and studies of autism and its cure. Sorry, autism can’t be cured as it has a strong genetic basis but we can improve the autistic symptoms.
A Drug With Possibilities To Cure ASD:
Suramin, the antipurinergic drug, can restore the abnormal behavior and lack of social skills and communications. But the experiment was done with MIA (Maternal Immune Activation) mouse model. This drug is not a new one, as it is used to treat sleeping sickness.
Sleeping sickness is almost common in Africa (Trypanosomiasis in East Africa and West Africa). The parasite Trypanosoma brucei infects host in 2 stages.
First stage: It occurs after the bite of tsetse fly. One bite is enough to inject the parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Most patients suffer from headache, joint and muscle pain and also from swelling lymph nodes. In the first stage, the parasite circulates through body fluids like, blood fluids, lymph etc.
Second stage: After few weeks, second stage begins with different neurological problems. In this phase, the parasites cross the blood brain barrier or reach to the CNS (Central Nervous System) fluids. The neurological symptoms of sleeping sickness in this stage are more or less similar with autistic symptoms like,
- Nighttime sleep disorder
- Hormonal imbalances
- Personality changes
- Social skill disturbances
Suramin can cure these symptoms and that’s why sleeping sickness can’t be a cause of death in Africa now.
That is the reason why Dr. Robert K. Naviaux, professor of medicine, pediatrics and pathology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and his colleagues took Suramin to study on the basis of cellular-level signal transduction in case of autism.
Base Of Study:
The study was based on cellular metabolism apart from the genetic and environmental factor to cause ASDs.
ATP (adinosine triphosphate) is the energy source of cells and it is produced by different metabolic pathways (TCA cycle, oxidation of fatty acids). 19 ATP receptors are known still now and ATP acts to build communication between different types of cells and tissues. Non-verbal communication due to language impairment is caused by the lack of ATP derived compound.
On the basis of this study, Suramin-induced MIA mouse models had successfully passed the test with dramatically reversal affect of autistic symptoms and with restoration of abnormal brain cells and neurons. Let’s have a hope for the implementation of this drug in human, though it needs time to develop such kind of drug for human population.
But a hope can make us strong to cope with the situation until that hope becomes real.