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U-M researchers discover way to block neurodegeneration in an adult form of Fragile X syndrome
Date:12/13/2010

ause of autism.

Using both fruit fly models and human cells, the U-M researchers found that drugs that inhibit histone acetyltransferases modify the brain changes associated with FXTAS and could provide the pathway to a therapeutic target.

"These drugs that we used are too toxic for use in patients but the important finding is that we have a better idea of what's driving this syndrome and proof of principle that those brain changes can be modified," says Todd.

"Our findings underscore the need for developing more specific modifiers of expression at the Fragile X gene, with the long-term goal of developing preventive therapy for FXTAS patients," says Todd.

Todd stressed the need for more research into neurodegenerative diseases like FXTAS, which can be devastating to families.

"This should be a high priority. Neurodegeneration robs people of their humanity," Todd says. "To lead a happy and fruitful life, you have to protect the brain."


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Contact: Mary F. Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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