By On October 15th, 2012

A Breakthrough in the Treatment of Rett syndrome

A recent study suggests that individuals with Rett syndrome, a severe autism-related disorder, could reverse brain abnomalities by simply taking a drug commonly used in anesthesia.

As reported on MedicalXpress, the study appeared in the Journal of Neurosciences. Researchers used mice with normal brain activity and mice with a genetic mutation similar to the one that causes Rett syndrome in humans. The Rett syndrome mice showed lowered activity in the forebrain and abnormally high activity in the brain stem.

The anesthesia drug ketamine has shown to increase forebrain activity and did so for the Rett syndrome mice. The dosage was low enough that no anesthetic effects were present, however, since ketamine has never been used to treat a chronic condition, we’re a long way from seeing clinical trials in humans.

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