You may have heard the exciting news about a drug being studied that shows promise in treating social withdrawal behaviors in children with Fragile-X and potentially autism. We wanted to find out more information about this drug arbaclofen (or STX209) and its effects on Fragile-X, so we sat down with Bryan King, M.D. and Director of Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. King has been consulting with the pharmaceutical company that designed this drug and leading its trial at Seattle Children’s.
theautismblog: What is the relationship between Fragile-X Syndrome (FXS) and autism?
Dr. King: Fragile X Syndrome is a disorder associated with a specific gene defect. The product of the gene is a critical regulator of brain activity, and children with this disorder typically have significant cognitive and behavioral difficulties. In some studies, as many as 40% of individuals with FXS have an autism spectrum disorder. Since the underlying brain processes are being uncovered in FXS, and because of the overlap with autism, drugs that target FXS are of tremendous interest.