Eight months ago researchers in Scotland found that they could reverse the debilitating defects and certain death in mice carrying the Rett syndrome gene, well after the mice had regressed into the most severe stages of disease. Although the specific treatment approach was not one that is directly applicable to autism treatment, the successful "rescue" of adult animals taught us that developmental disorders, those that begin in infancy, apparently still have a potential to be reversed later in life.
2007 saw the publication of several studies that documented successful treatment of disease symptoms in mouse models of three different neurodevelopmental disorders related to autism. Most significantly, two of three (Fragile X and Rett) involved reversal of the phenotype AFTER the mice had already become sick, suggesting that developmental disorders such as autism may be treatable in adolescence or adulthood.
NEW YORK, NY (October 9, 2008) – Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization, today announced the launch of Autism SpeaksU, an initiative of Autism Speaks focused on engaging the young philanthropists of the world and connecting college students with the autism community. Founded by the members of the Beta Sigma Beta Fraternity and Pi Beta Phi Sorority at Penn State University in 2006, the annual walk/run in State College, Pa.
NEW YORK, NY (September 25, 2008) – Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism advocacy organization, today announced a new international collaboration to study Rett Syndrome. In partnership with the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC) and the newly formed Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT), the group will build on previous studies to explore the correlation of Rett symptoms to specific brain regions.