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Study shows promise for new drug to treat Fragile X
Date:1/7/2011

y Sebastien Jacquemont of Vaudois University in Switzerland in collaboration with Baltazar Gomez-Mancilla of Novartis, found no significant effects of treatment when the entire group of 30 patients was analyzed. However, in a subsequent analysis, seven patients who had a fully methylated gene, a gene that was fully shut down, presumably resulting in no FMR protein in the blood or brain, showed significant improvement in behavior, hyperactivity and inappropriate speech with the treatment compared to placebo.

"The treatment period in this pilot study was very short and longer treatment might have been needed to see improvement in the whole group of patients. Importantly, the drug was well-tolerated and there were no safety problems," said Berry-Kravis.

A larger study of the drug is now underway that will recruit 160 patients worldwide and test the effects of a longer period of treatment. Rush University Medical Center is one of the participating sites.

Fragile X affects 1 in 4000 males and 1 in 6000 females of all races and ethnic groups. It is the most common known single gene cause of autism or "autistic-like" behaviors. Symptoms also can include characteristic physical and behavioral features and delays in speech and language development. The impairment can range from learning disabilities to more severe cognitive and intellectual disabilities.


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Contact: Kim Waterman
Kimberly_Waterman@rush.edu
312-942-7820
Rush University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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