Autism Researchers Are Studying a 100-Year-Old Drug as a Potential ‘Cure’

Posted on Aug 24, 2017 in Autism, Medical Rewind

Hear what Dr. Buttar and Robert Scott Bell have to say about this article on the  May 28, 2017 Medical Rewind Show.

Results from a small clinical trial suggest that the anti-parasitic drug suramin can diminish autism spectrum disorder symptoms, but more rigorous research is needed.

Autism is a gut-wrenching diagnosis for many families. Though children who suffer from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have widely varying ranges of functionality, many of those who are diagnosed have difficulty communicating, poor social skills, delayed development, and repetitive behaviors.

To the dismay of parents and practitioners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last year that the number of children with autism in the US had risen between 2000 and 2012 from one in 150 to one in 68. It’s no wonder that parents, medical professionals, and autism advocates are desperate to find something that can manage — or, better yet, cure — the disease.

Now researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have published a research article in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology that shows a tentative link between a 100-year old medication and improvements in children with autism.

Led by Dr. Robert Naviaux, the research hinges on the idea that there is one underlying cause of autism in children despite the disorder’s varying symptoms. Though scientists have previously discovered genes and environmental triggers that may increase the risk of autism, no definitive cause has been found that can explain all ASD.

But Naviaux believes that there is a fundamental metabolic problem in all people with ASD — namely, that cells in affected people experience abnormal levels of something that Naviaux has termed the “cell danger response” (CDR).

The CDR, Naviaux explained to Seeker, happens when a cell responds to external stressors or toxins. He describes this process as the cell hardening its membranes, ceasing interaction with neighbors, and withdrawing into itself until the danger has passed.

“After the single dose, it was almost like a roadblock had been released.”