Nutrition supplement may help treat rare form of autism

People who have a very rare form of autism may benefit from treatment with a common nutritional supplement, a new study suggests.

The results show some people who have symptoms of both autism and epilepsy have a rare genetic mutation that causes them to have abnormally low levels of essential nutrients called branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).

When the researchers fed a diet enriched with BCAAs to mice that were engineered to have that same genetic mutation, the diet completely reversed the symptoms, the researchers said. The mice not fed the enriched diet showed the symptoms of epilepsy and other neurological problems.

However, it’s not clear whether the findings will translate to people. Because the mutation is so rare, the researchers have not yet studied the effects of adding BCAA supplements to the diet of people with this particular form of autism, and it’s possible a change in diet may only be beneficial if started early in life (the patients currently known to have the mutation are no longer young children).

If you enjoyed this post, please consider to leave a comment or subscribe to the feed and get future articles delivered to your feed reader.


No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.