Why Suramin, a Century-Old, Anti-Parasitic Drug May Hold the Key to Understanding Autism

Dr. Robert Naviaux's recent finding suggests reversible metabolic syndrome could be at core of autism


  • newswise-fullscreen Why Suramin,  a Century-Old, Anti-Parasitic Drug May Hold the Key to Understanding Autism

    Credit: N of One: Autism Research Foundation

    Timeline of Dr. Naviaux's autism mouse model work. Please contact media@NofOne.org for permission to use this or other materials that we have

  • newswise-fullscreen Why Suramin,  a Century-Old, Anti-Parasitic Drug May Hold the Key to Understanding Autism

    Credit: N of One: Autism Research Foundation

    Dr. Naviaux's previous autism mouse model research used the MIA mouse model which exhibits numerous behavioral, biochemical, and physiological abnormalities in common with autism. Please contact media@NofOne.org for permission to use this or other materials that we have

  • newswise-fullscreen Why Suramin,  a Century-Old, Anti-Parasitic Drug May Hold the Key to Understanding Autism

    Credit: N of One: Autism Research Foundation

    Comparison of autism-like abnormalities observed and corrected by suramin across Dr. Robert Naviaux's experiments Please contact media@NofOne.org for permission to use this or other materials that we have

Newswise — Robert Naviaux MD Ph.D, who is a professor of genetics and Co-Director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researcher has published another potential breakthrough piece of autism research that finds that the 100 year old anti-parasitic drug, suramin, corrects the autism-like behaviors in the fragile X mouse model. Fragile X is a genetic condition that often leads to autism. This is the second autism mouse model that Dr. Naviaux has shown suramin to be effective in. The paper is published in the journal Molecular Autism

This finding builds upon his previous work with suramin in the Maternal Immune Activation (MIA) mouse model, where suramin was also shown to be effective. Unlike the Fragile X model, which is a genetic mouse model, the MIA mouse model relies on a simulated infection during pregnancy to induce autism-like features in male offspring. Together these findings build a strong case that Dr. Naviaux has identified an elusive core, common mechanism in autism theorized to exist and one that is potentially amenable to treatment in humans with an existing drug.John Rodakis, Founder of N of One: Autism Research Foundation has written an easy to read, in-depth article about the recent discovery. In the article, Mr. Rodakis describes Dr. Naviaux's previous work and places this latest finding in context and explains the significant, promising implications for autism research in an accessible way.

The article contains numerous summary multimedia graphics which are available to the media with proper attribution. Additionally Mr. Rodakis is available for quotes or commentary.

The full length article from N of One is available at: http://www.nofone.org/#!significance-of-naviaux-2015-fragile-x/ctef

About N of One: Autism Research Foundation:N of One: Autism Research Foundation was founded in 2014, with a mission to facilitate and sponsor breakthrough autism medical research. N of One emphasizes research that treats the observations of parents and doctors as potential clues to how autism works. Founder, John Rodakis, a Harvard MBA with a background in molecular biology, is a parent of an autistic child and started the non-profit after observing dramatic improvements in his son’s autism in response to various factors, such as fever, but was frustrated at the lack of research into these phenomena. Earlier this year results from the first N of One backed Johns Hopkins and Mass General double-blind, placebo-controlled study were released showing that a compound found in broccoli, sulforaphane, reduced symptoms of autism in young men. Earlier this year, N of One sponsored a first of its kind scientific conference on autism and the microbiome. Currently N of One is collaborating with Dr. Naviaux to investigate the possible role of the microbiome in the MIA mouse model. For more information about N of One: Autism Research Foundation: www.NofOne.org

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