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The International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR)
Date:5/14/2014

n occurring at 18 months. When we mathematically transformed these "growth curves" to identify when this process began in development i.e., when there was a change in the dynamic of the trajectory we could pinpoint a shift in rate of change in eye fixation to the 9th month of life in these children. These results suggest a period of malleability in this phenomenon, with some children naturally undergoing course correction. If so, this early period of plasticity might be capitalized upon for early treatment and intervention with the goal of fostering such "course correction" in a larger number of children at greater genetic risk for ASD.

Insulin-like growth factor-1 rescues synaptic and motor deficits in a mouse model of autism and developmental delay -- J. D. Buxbaum, Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment, Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

SHANK3 gene deletions and mutations result in Phelan McDermid Syndrome (PMS) and cause ASD with a frequency of 0.5% of ASD cases. Loss of SHANK3 is sufficient to cause the syndrome and is known to produce significant disruption in nerve cell function and plasticity in animal models. Our recent evidence from preclinical studies with mouse models of SHANK3 deficiency indicates that Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) can reverse synaptic plasticity and motor learning deficits at clinically approved doses. More recently another group has shown beneficial effects of IGF-1 in human nerve cells carrying SHANK3 mutations. IGF-1 is a commercially available therapeutic compound that enters the brain and has beneficial effects on nerve development by promoting nerve cell survival, synaptic maturation, and synaptic plasticity. We have now carried out a pilot study of IGF-1 treatment in nine patients with PMS (ages 5-15) in order to evaluate safety, tolerability, and efficacy for core deficits of ASD, including social impairment and restricted and repetitive behaviors.
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Contact: Adam Pockriss
apockriss@rubenstein.com
212-843-8286
Rubenstein Associates, Inc.
Source:Eurekalert

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