Antibiotic Effective for Fragile X Therapy

DAVIS, Calif., Sept. 10 (UPI) — An antibiotic used to treat adolescent acne may increase attention span and decrease anxiety in those with fragile X syndrome, U.S. researchers say.

Randi Hagerman, medical director of the University of California, Davis, MIND Institute, and colleagues examined parents’ observations of their children’s responses to minocycline — a drug used since the 1960s to treat adolescent acne.

The study, published in the American Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, reports the parents say that after their children were treated for an average of three months, the children showed improvements in their use of language, attention levels and behavior.

“This preliminary survey demonstrated improvements in participants, however, a controlled clinical trial is needed to compare the efficacy of treating patients with minocycline to treatment with a placebo,” Hagerman says in a statement.

Reports of those side effects were minimal, Hagerman says.

The genetic disorder fragile X syndrome is the result of a defect on the X chromosome. It is estimated to affect 1 in 3,600 males and 1 in 4,000 females, and causes a range of disabilities, from learning disorders to mild-to-severe intellectual impairment and behavioral and emotional problems.

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