The beginning of it goes into a strange array of gene talk but then the focus of the article is this---
Some signals associated with a cell type called microglia were far higher in the samples from people with autism than from samples of people with other conditions. This signal may be higher because the microglia are more active. If that’s true, an antibiotic that reduces their activity could be one way to treat the condition—which is what UCLA Health psychiatrist and one of the authors of the study, Dr. Michael Gandal, is testing right now....
He and his colleagues are working to recruit about 30 adults for a brain-imaging study to look at their microglia and take an antibiotic called minocycline for 12 weeks.
“Throughout the 12 weeks, we measure a set of cognitive tasks, and we repeat the brain imaging," he said. "The idea is to look at how levels of inflammation in the brain relate to cognitive and behavioral function in individuals with autism.”
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are highly disabling, persistent neurodevelopmental disorders. There are no available treatments for core symptoms of ASD or biologically-based clinical biomarkers. Emerging evidence indicates that levels of brain inflammation are increased in ASD. In particular, recent work implicates hyperactivity of microglial cells, the resident immune cells of the brain. However, the functional consequences of microglial activation remain unknown. This study will measure microglial activation in ASD using positron emission tomography (PET) brain imaging. Adult males with ASD (n=15) and healthy controls (n=15) will be recruited for this study and undergo comprehensive clinical and behavioral baseline assessment. All subjects will then undergo baseline PET imaging using a radiotracer that labels activated microglia. Subjects with ASD will then undergo 12-week open label treatment with minocycline, an FDA-approved antibiotic thought to block microglial activation. PET imaging will be repeated at 12 weeks to confirm target engagement. A subset of control subjects will also undergo repeat PET imaging to determine test-retest reliability. During minocycline treatment, ASD subjects will be evaluated every 2 weeks for safety, clinical impression, behavioral functioning, and measures of cognition. Results will provide important information regarding the relationship between levels of brain inflammation, cognitive and behavioral function in ASD.
I am hoping that more candidates can join as it looks like almost a year since it's been updated. Let's take a look at Minocycline and see if we can't get more people excited and involved in this type of research.
It's been about six years since I really started putting a focus on autism and bacterial infections. Because I have a daughter who has a diagnosis of autism and also an autoimmune diagnosis, the immune system has become a key player in my research to help her. The MICROBIOME research has exploded and its connection to the MICROGLIA of the brain may be a big part in autism spectrum disorders.
There are far too many children and young adults who suffer. The list of painful and debilitating symptoms grows as parents watch in agony. Patterns tend to emerge:
CHRONIC VIRAL and BACTERIAL INFECTIONS