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Cardiff University: Tumour drug trial 'could lead to autism benefits'

"This research is one of the first clinical trials to assess whether a drug can improve brain function in people with an inherited disorder.

"The potential benefits of this treatment include an improved quality of life for affected patients and wider benefits for their families and carers.

"If it works it will benefit patients directly and could provide clues as to whether this class of drugs (called mTOR inhibitors) might have wider benefits in problems like autism."

– Professor Julian Sampson, Institute of Medical Genetics at Cardiff University


Tumour-shrinking drug's wider benefits

Trials of a new drug are underway at Cardiff University Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A drug designed to combat Tuberous Sclerosis is being trialled at Cardiff University and could also be used to treat autism. Everolimus has already proven effective when used to treat kidney growths and grain tumours - reducing their size in many cases.

Tuberous Sclerosis is a genetic disorder characterised by the development of tumours in many organs, including the skin and kidneys. It can also affect the brain, leading to epilepsy and often ADHD and autism.

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