Autism affects both mice and human beings. That is why a group of autistic mice became the subject of a new experimental drug manufactured to detect the cause of autism. But the big news is that the guinea pig mice are responding to the drug, which is yet to receive a name.
Like many diseases, science has no explanation about what causes autism. However, data base research technologies have only succeeded in scratching the disease on the surface. At best, researchers have linked certain factors prevalent among autistic children to the cause. For a debilitating disease like autism, some of the identified risk factors appear ridiculous. They include the age of the father, the weight of the mother and how close a child lives to an expressway.
For scientists, it is important to draw the map of this disease, starting from the cause. As far as Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a researcher at the University of California, US, is concerned, knowing the cause will ultimately demystify the disease. Autism brings developmental disabilities, and is said to affect about 190,000 children in Nigeria. In the United States, US, the Centre for Disease Control, CDC, estimates that autism affects about 1 in 88 children. The new drug works by targeting the affected area in the brains of autistic children.
The drug is already bringing some cheery news through its administration in experimental forms. The new drug, manufactured by Seaside Therapeutics Incorporated, Massachusetts, US, is now being tested in children and adults in clinical trials. Some of the feedback shows the children beginning to chat with their mothers in the kitchen.