Monday, March 26, 2012

Experimental Gene Therapy Studied for Rett Syndrome

A potential therapeutic approach for Rett syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, was published March 18 in Nature. Since a mutation in a gene called the MECP2 gene causes Rett syndrome, scientists transplanted bone marrow from healthy mice, which expressed a healthy MECP2 gene, into mice modeled to have Rett syndrome. The treatment was found to reduce disease symptoms, such as breathing and movement abnormalities, as well as to increase the lifespan of the mice.

More information about Rett syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders, as well as experimental and alternative therapies for them, can be found in American Psychiatric Publishing's Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders. To read proposals for changes to diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorders in the next edition of APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), see Psychiatric News.

(Image: IQoncept/


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