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UC Davis researchers test drug that may reverse symptoms of autism
Sacramento Bee

Researchers at UC Davis MIND Institute may have found a drug that can reverse symptoms of a rare genetic condition associated with autism.

The 16p11.2 deletion syndrome – caused by the deletion of a small piece of chromosome 16 – is present in one-third of people with autism. People who have this condition are missing certain genes, resulting in impaired communication and social skills and delayed intellectual development, said Jacqueline Crawley, the lead researcher in the study.

The drug that may help is called R-baclofen. It interacts with a specific kind of neurotransmitter to inhibit neurons from firing, she said.