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Treating Autism

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Researchers say they've found a rare form of autism that could be treatable. The study is in the latest issue of the online journal, Science. The researchers say mutations could lead to a form of autism with epilepsy, which could be treated with a dietary supplement. The Los Angeles Times reports it comes from a gene that controls the breakdown of proteins called "branched chained amino acids." The proteins are important to brain chemistry, but they have to come from food or nutritional supplements. 

The paper reports some gene mutations break the proteins down too fast and that results in this severe form of autism. Mice with abnormal brain amino acid profiles responded to dietary supplementation, according to the research. 

People can get branched chain amino acids from health food stores. However, the Times says this form of autism is believed to be extremely rare and not likely to account for many cases in the country. 

 

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