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ADHD and Learning Disabilities - new Treatment - new Hope

November 23rd, 2005

ADHD and Learning Disabilities - new Treatment - new Hope

Lovastatin

There is a promising new discovery about a drug that helps in learning disabilities.  The drug called Lovastatin, is a commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering medicine available today.  The discovery was by Neurobiologist Alcino Silva and colleagues at the University of California - Los Angeles and it offers new hope for many people.

Neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) is the condition that Lovastatin hopefully will be able to fix in the future.  This condition affects more that 1 in 3,000 people.  It is either inherited, or an isolated mutation, which is then inheritable.   NF1 symptoms cause the person developmental cognitive disabilities in up to half who are carriers of the defective gene.  It shows up as deficits in memory, motor coordination, and spatial learning.  It is also know to cause attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The first experiment they had the mice follow a blinking light to get the food as a reward.  The NF1 mice showed a 30% increase in their ability to complete this task when they took the statin.

 

They tried another experiment with the NF1 mice by giving the drug and these mice were able to out-perform normal mice in spatial memory tasks.  The best part of this discovery is that the cognitive deficits with the NF1 are able to be reversed, making it such a promising help for a NF1 affected people.

The affected person makes too much of one type of the Ras protein and causes a clogged neural pathway.  Silva explains: “Ras needs lipids to be attached to the cell membrane where it acts – the lipids are like anchors. Lovastatin and other statins lower the lipids and, without anchors, Ras floats away from the membrane and becomes ineffective.”

 

“We think we have a real, fundamental reason to be optimistic," Silva says. "This is a drug that affects a key learning and memory pathway, and completely rescues the most common genetic cause for learning disabilities.”

Silva said that discovering this “was the researcher’s equivalent of finding a suitcase stuffed with a million dollars”. Lovastatin actually reversed the over-production of Ras and repaired the cell-to-cell communication deficits, curing the mice's learning disabilities.

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

 

 

Common Keywords and misspellings:  Asperger ADD ADHD attention deficiet learning disability visual learning disabled clumsy gross motor skills lovastatin cholesterol lowering medicine to treat


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM