The Associated Press reported Tuesday that a new pill is currently being studied to treat Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder that may cause some forms of Autism. Autism is a developmentally disability. Children with Autism typically start showing symptoms before age 3. Autism impacts development primarily in the areas of social and communication skills. Children and adults with Autism typically have delays in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure and play activities.
The rates of Autism are alarming. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that Autism affects 1 in 150 births. Data indicate that Autism is growing at a rate of 10-17 percent per year. It is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls. According to data from the CDC, the rates of autism in Florida have increased from approximately 4,000 cases to over 14,000 cases in just 8 years. The AP reports that Fragile X Syndrome, the object of this new pill, affects approximately 100,000 Americans. About one-third of the boys with Fragile X also have Autism. Preliminary results of the use of this pill in males with Fragile X have shown increases in brain activity that has lasted until the dose wore off. Researchers were quick to say that they do not have a cure here, but they are optimistic that they are on the right path toward significantly improving the lives of individuals with Fragile X.