Growth hormone ’could help reverse autism-like condition’ | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Growth hormone ’could help reverse autism-like condition’

health-and-fitness Updated: Feb 10, 2009 14:02 IST

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A new study has revealed that a hormone which promotes brain development could help reverse an autism like condition in girls.

Researchers have claimed that a small injection of the growth protein can help prevent damage caused by Rett syndrome the most common form of autism like symptoms in girls as well as repair disabilities already caused.

They have based their findings on experiments on laboratory mice the study showed that daily injections of a protein into the rodents with the condition can significantly reduce movement and respiratory irregularities.

According to the researchers, led by MIT in Cambridge, although treated rodents were not cured, the outcome is reason for optimism, ‘The Daily Telegraph´ reported.

“This is the first realistic way for a drug like molecule injected in the bloodstream to relieve Rett syndrome symptoms,” said lead researcher Rudolf Jaenisch of Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research whose lab collaborated with MIT scientists.

Rett syndrome is an inherited disease affecting one of 10,000 girls born. Infants with the disease appear to develop normally for their first six to 18 months at which point their movement and language skills begin to deteriorate.

Loss of speech, reduced head size, breathing and heart rhythm irregularities, and autistic like symptoms are common by age four. Some symptoms may be mediated with prescription drugs but effective treatment for the disease exists.

The findings of the study are published in the latest edition of ‘Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences´ journal.