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Drug Reverses Retardation In Mice

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the give-my-regards-to-algernon dept.

Biotech 318

snydeq writes "Rapamycin, a medication doctors prescribe to transplant patients to prevent organ rejection, has been used to reverse learning disorders and mild retardation associated with TSC (tuberous sclerosis complex) in mice. Because the condition is linked to autism, scientists believe the drug may be used to treat learning disabilities and short-term memory deficits in all kinds of autism as well. The scientists chose rapamycin after they realized the drug regulates one of the same proteins that the TSC gene does, just in different parts of the body. 'What was surprising is that we could give rapamycin to adult mice and reverse their condition,' said neurobiologist Alcino Silva of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 'We did not know ... that this drug would be equally effective for the learning disabilities as it is for tissue rejection.' Rapamycin treatment leveled the playing field between normal and TSC mice in as little as three days."

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flowers for algernon (5, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965617)

make sure it doesn't wear off after a little while

Re:flowers for algernon (2, Funny)

Helmholtz (2715) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965649)

If it becomes permanent, then you've got the Rats (or Mice) of NIMH. ;)

Re:flowers for algernon (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965767)

It turns them into Nickel Metal Hydride? Hmm, that makes a fully mouse operated home generator/backup system more feasible when you can use the brainy mice as batteries while their slightly moronic brethren run around on wheels all day.

Re:flowers for algernon (0)

FingerSoup (928761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966441)

Rats? I hate rats! They make me crazy. Crazy? I used to be crazy, Then they locked me up and put me in a rubber room. Rubber room? I hate Rubber rooms! They're full of Rats. Rats? I hate rats! They make me crazy. Crazy? I used to be crazy, Then they locked me up and put me in a rubber room. Rubber room? I hate Rubber rooms! They're full of Rats. Rats? I hate rats! They make me crazy. Crazy? I used to be crazy, Then they locked me up and put me in a rubber room. Rubber room? I hate Rubber rooms! They're full of Rats. Rats? I hate rats! They make me crazy. Crazy? I used to be crazy, Then they locked me up and put me in a rubber room. Rubber room? I hate Rubber rooms! They're full of Rats....

(Where are those pills?)

Rats? I hate rats! They make me crazy. Crazy? I used to be crazy, Then they locked me up and put me in a rubber room. Rubber room? I hate Rubber rooms! They're full of Rats. Rats? I hate rats! They make me crazy. Crazy? I used to be crazy, Then they locked me up and put me in a rubber room. Rubber room? I hate Rubber rooms! They're full of Rats. Rats? I hate rats! They make me crazy. Crazy? I used to be crazy, Then they locked me up and put me in a rubber room. Rubber room? I hate Rubber rooms! They're full of Rats. Rats? I hate rats! They make me crazy. Crazy? I used to be crazy, Then they locked me up and put me in a rubber room. Rubber room? I hate Rubber rooms! They're full of Rats....

Obligatory (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965677)

that that is is that that is not is not is that it it is

That that is, is. That that is not, is not. is that it? It is.

This is good news for Taco... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23965717)

since he's a fuckin' retard with a penis the same size as a mouse's.

Re:flowers for algernon (4, Interesting)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966001)

Seriously. I read that book 15 years ago and it still stands out in my mind how sad the degradation is. It is one of my worst nightmare to eventually lose my reasoning capacities.

Re:flowers for algernon (5, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966047)

Seriously. I read that book 15 years ago and it still stands out in my mind how sad the degradation is. It is one of my worst nightmare to eventually lose my reasoning capacities.

LOL! ME 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:flowers for algernon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23966083)

One of the funniest comments ever!

Re:flowers for algernon (3, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966167)

As funny as this [slashdot.org] ?

Re:flowers for algernon (2, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966175)

My wife's grandfather had Parkinson's disease. As his disease progressed, his body gave out more and more. In addition to that, his mind slowly unwound as well. One day he would be perfectly lucid. The next, he would be talking to me about a "yesterday" that was really twenty years ago. It was sad to watch him slowly sink away physically and mentally. I'm still not sure which is worse, but I hope that I never have to experience that myself (or have any of my close loved ones go through that). I'd rather have a quick, painless death (at a ripe, old age, of course) than lingering for years losing everything that makes up "me".

Cool! (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965653)

Great!!! Now how can we get this drug out to 80% of the population quickly enough?

Re:Cool! (5, Funny)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965697)

Great!!! Now how can we get this drug out to 80% of the population quickly enough?

Your estimate is high. Only 50.7% require it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_US_presidential_election [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cool! (3, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965783)

Your estimate is high. Only 50.7% require it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_US_presidential_election [wikipedia.org]


Uhm, wrong. Both parties consist mostly of criminals (lobbying = corruption, even if by the book it is legal). And both parties vote against public good. The populicrats just prefer the copyright mafia, robbing taxpayers and so on.

The few honest politicians can be found in both parties.

Re:Cool! (1)

Technopaladin (858154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965895)

Not sure i can name a single honest politician...Jmmy Carter probably is the closest but I am sure he would say he has lied at some point.

Re:Cool! (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966255)

Feingold.

tempted to agree (1)

Technopaladin (858154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966431)

Except he voted in Roberts to the Supreme Court and not only voted him in but was one of his biggest supporters.

Should Mod to Funny... (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966097)

Your estimate is high. Only 50.7% require it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_US_presidential_election [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org]

I'm a Republican, a Bush and now McCain supporter, and have more troll points on slashdot to prove my right wing cred, and I don't find this offensive at all. Come on people, lighten up. This was -funny-. If I would have been first to the joke, I would have made the same crack going the other way. The more seriously we take our political affiliations, the more we are trapped into the political parties that really don't represent us!

After all, can't we say: "Christ, Bush is such a great oil man, that he goes and invades the world's largest untapped source of oil, and now gas is $5 / gallon."

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23966101)

Bitter Democrat voters are so cute. Just as clueless as Republican voters but definitely much cuter.

Re:Cool! (5, Funny)

Neeperando (1270890) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966289)

Maybe we can use that to our advantage. We should have nominated a puppy for president instead of Obama.

Press: What's your plan to make health care affordable for all Americans?

Candidate Puppy (chews on tennis ball, chases tail): Woof!

Voters: Awwwwww!

Re:Cool! (1)

Khisanth Magus (1090101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966683)

I'd vote for it. Wouldn't be any worse than the other candidates this election.

Re:Cool! (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966709)

Puppy for President !

Re:Cool! (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965703)

I was going to suggest that we put it in the water coolers in the House of Representatives and the Senate, for BOTH sides of the aisle.

Re:Cool! (1)

archkittens (1272770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965745)

I was going to suggest that we put it in the water coolers in the House of Representatives and the Senate, for BOTH sides of the aisle.

and that way you know anyone who's still retarded later drinks bottled water. I'd settle for just giving it to all MBA's and law students on graduation.

Re:Cool! (1)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965905)

DON'T give it to politicians - imagine how much more effectivly they'll be able to lie, cheat and steal if they smarten up!!!!

And stop feeding it to the frigging mice - do you really want mice that are smart enough to avoid mouse traps?

Re:Cool! (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965981)

That's OK, only retards pay $1 a bottle from something that comes out of the tap for a couple pennies.

Re:Cool! (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966245)

I was going to suggest that we put it in the water coolers in the House of Representatives and the Senate, for BOTH sides of the aisle.

Just be sure there's still some left to send to Fox network.

Re:Cool! (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966541)

And to CNN, and MSNBC, and CBS, and...and...well you get my point.

Re:Cool! (4, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965931)

Sadly, it won't work. Although you were joking, I uncharacteristically jumped straight to TFA on this one, as my oldest daughter's IQ measures at 65. That's about five points lower than Forest Gump, if I remember the movie correctly.

Sadly, this treatment only fights Darwin. TFA says

Scientists used rapamycin--a medication doctors prescribe to patients who have had transplants to prevent their bodies from rejecting the new organs--to treat learning disorders associated with a disease called tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in mice. TSC is a rare genetic disorder that causes brain tumors, seizures, learning disabilities, skin lesions and kidney tumors in the 50,000 Americans and one million people worldwide who have the disease.

A million people might not seem rare, but consider that there are six billion people on the planet. From a link from TFA:

What is Tuberous Sclerosis?

Tuberous sclerosis (TSC) is a rare genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and on other vital organs such as the kidneys, heart, eyes, lungs, and skin. It commonly affects the central nervous system. In addition to the benign tumors that frequently occur in TSC, other common symptoms include seizures, mental retardation, behavior problems, and skin abnormalities. TSC may be present at birth, but signs of the disorder can be subtle and full symptoms may take some time to develop. Three types of brain tumors are associated with TSC: cortical tubers, which generally form on the surface of the brain; subependymal nodules, which form in the walls of the ventricles (the fluid-filled cavities of the brain); and giant-cell astrocytomas, a type of tumor that can block the flow of fluids within the brain.

Most mental retardation is caused by injury.

A bit offtopic, but the US public school system, bad as it is for average (IQ 100) kids, it fails miserably for both "special" and "gifted" students; my youngest's IQ is 131 and she wound up dropping out (later getting her GED and now manages a GameStop store at age 21) while the oldest graduated high school an got her diploma but lives on SSI disability.

The US public school system is badly broken.

Re:Cool! (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966279)

Tell your kid to reach higher than they are already doing. I have an IQ of 130 myself and I barely got my high school diploma and I didn't continue with college or university because I went to their "open enrollment" before and I thought the subjects were a bit too simple for me (I've apparently read through some of the textbooks they showed me on my own when I was in 10th grade).

So I just started my career as a tech support, built up, now I'm an Systems Analyst/Programmer in a University managing the IT for 3 departments and earning a fairly decent salary (for being in a non-profit, research-only department) and I like my job (that might also have to do with the ultimate freedom to do whatever I want with a computing cluster and an electronics lab)

Re:Cool! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23966381)

"my youngest's IQ is 131 and she wound up dropping out (later getting her GED and now manages a GameStop store at age 21)"

So she dropped out because it was too easy for her big bad brain? Apparently, she's not that fucking smart - otherwise she would have realized that you need certain credentials to get anywhere in life (no - GameStop manager is not anywhere). I wonder - is GameStop manager so intellectually rewarding that this wunderkind is now completely satisfied with life? Some parent, and I don't care which one, but some parent should have set her down, told her she wasn't a precious fucking flower, and said that school - like work - doesn't always involve being completely fucking satisfied. You go to school to open up options for yourself. When she dropped out of school, she had no fucking clue what she wanted to do with her life. You failed when you let her do that. Now, at 21 and with only a GED, her life is pretty much over. She'll never go to college, I am sure, which means that her options for employment she can take are quite limited.

Now, I'm sure other dropouts will respond to your post and say that you've got it right and the school is the problem. Well, guess what - these are the rules of society. Ignore them but do so and end up being a fucking GameStop manager. I don't even consider those monkeys as human being.

Re:Cool! (1)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966577)

(later getting her GED and now manages a GameStop store at age 21) while the oldest graduated high school an got her diploma but lives on SSI disability.

Sometimes it takes some life experience (a job) for someone to better appreciate school.. perhaps she may still go to college.. I also knew someone who was on SSI for some mental health issues, and her life was not exactly easy.. it takes quite a bit of work to keep those benefits. It's a depressing existence (and depression was one of the things she was being treated for), wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Re:Cool! (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966633)

my youngest's IQ is 131 and she wound up dropping out (later getting her GED and now manages a GameStop store at age 21) while the oldest graduated high school an got her diploma but lives on SSI disability.

This is getting further off topic, and this isn't a flame, but I'm genuinely curious. I have an IQ of 131, finished high school, finished college, and have a decent job. Those with an IQ of 131 are not typically candidates for dropping out of high school. I've always looked at schools currently as failing to prepare US kids to go to college or get a job, and I might be unusual in that I'm not only very emotionally stable and strong, but I'm an aggressive "go getter", but a kid with IQ of 131 and no major emotional or psychological issues should be able to graduate high school and get a diploma. I.E. if she's smart, she can plod thru stupid classes and get a diploma, which looks better than a GED. Also, if she can get a diploma with an IQ of 131 she can usually attend community college. You also seem to be implying that she's smart but could not get thru high school for some reason or another. Also, the one living on SSI disability. It sounds like she hurt herself or has a physical impairment which makes it difficult to work, is that true? Are you in an economically depressed area? Do your daughters have special needs? Are they so bored with classes that their average is a D?

We're getting off base here, and I agree the education system needs some serious overhaul, but I've never heard of a smart kid with no other major obstacles drop out of high school rather than finish. I geniunely ask in the hopes I get a bit of an education on the topic myself :)

Re:Cool! (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966657)

Sadly, this treatment only fights Darwin.

We have been fighting Darwin for quite some time. Note the sub-replacement fertility [wikipedia.org] in industrialized nations.

There have been a number of explanations for the general decline in fertility rates in much of the world, and the true explanation is almost certainly a combination of different factors. The growth of wealth and human development are undoubtedly related to this phenomenon.

I know it is not fashionable to point this out (2, Insightful)

VisiX (765225) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966685)

Perhaps it is not all the fault of the school system?

I'm sure it is difficult to raise two children who are quite different in ability, but I feel like someone should point out that a number of people with an IQ of 130+ (and perhaps 65) graduate from public school and go on to do wonderful things. I would venture a guess that many people here have an IQ over 130, were incredibly bored in high school, and came through it just fine.

I have an IQ of about 140 and got Bs in high school. My parents understood that I would not be wasting a lot of effort "learning" in high school and gave me the freedom to do other things outside of school so that I would have an outlet. These opportunities were not afforded to my older brother, who has a similar IQ, and so he dropped out of high school after failing ninth grade four times.

Re:Cool! (5, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966049)

Great!!! Now how can we get this drug out to 80% of the population quickly enough?

Put it in expensive bottled water.

Re:Cool! (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966165)

Maybe we should just put it in the beer at the next NASCAR race.

Re:Cool! (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966561)

Maybe we should just put it in the beer at the next NASCAR race.

I'd love to see the attendance delta after that one.

Re:Cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23966403)

or 95% of slashdot readers?

Every Rose Has Its Thorn (4, Informative)

MaliciousSmurf (960366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965669)

"There are, however, the expected side effects from a drug that suppresses the immune system: impaired wound healing, infections, mouth sores and, in rare instances, skin cancer." (and every cowboy sings a sad sad song.)

Re:Every Rose Has Its Thorn (2, Informative)

sheepweevil (1036936) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965975)

There is a way, using current technology, to cure Type 1 Diabetes: an islet cell transplant [wikipedia.org] . The reason every Diabetic in the world isn't getting it, though, is that having to take antirejection drugs is worse than simply using insulin therapy for most people. I am curious to know how the benefits outweigh the risks in this case.

It's not that bad! (3, Interesting)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966091)

I've been taking this drug for years. I'll tell ya, having three or four mouth sores at all times helps you lose weight! And when you can't come to work for a month because of a raging... common cold, your idiot boss totally understands!

Sigh... luckily, these days, I'm on a lower dosage (and with a different boss).

Finally a cure (5, Funny)

gijoel (628142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965681)

NARF!!!!!

Re:Finally a cure (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966567)

So Pinky and The Brain are the same mouse, huh? Rapamycin-induced MPD could explain it. Takes the drug: "Try to take over the world!" Drug wears off: "NARF!!!"

w00h00! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23965687)

There is hope for Pinky now!

-db

good news for cowboyneal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23965689)

Good news cowboy neal! Unfortunately, you're still fat.

Jack Thompson (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23965719)

Jack needs to be volunteered to be the first human test subject. If it can cure him, it'll cure anyone.

Re:Jack Thompson (1)

curmudgeous (710771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966177)

I'd also like to nominate FOX news anchors for test subjects. It sure can't make them any worse.

Re:Jack Thompson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23966401)

Wait, are you saying there are news anchors somewhere who aren't complete buffoons? I don't see the need to single out anchors on Fox News -- give it to the whole lot of 'em. Maybe some day we'll see a news story about technology that isn't wildly inaccurate.

Re:Jack Thompson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23966631)

Actually, Fox news anchors aren't as bad as NBC's and CNN's. Fox news just pushed one side of a story, the others actually make up stories then push one side of it. Dan Rather had to be retarded to make up a fake story and think he wouldn't get caught in our highly connected society.

$1k per month (3, Interesting)

Dougmeister (829273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965729)

"Rapamycin costs about $1,000 per month" For the rest of your life. Wow. I guess that's still a price that someone would be willing to pay if it would benefit them.

Re:$1k per month (5, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965765)

1K to turn someone into a productive member of society and lead a meaningful life? It's a bargain. We're paying more than that to keep rapists alive in jails. Not to mention that as technology moves on it will either cost less or new drug will take it's place being either more effective or less expensive.

Re:$1k per month (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23966019)

Not to mention that volume production will reduce pricing.

Re:$1k per month (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966033)

> 1K to turn someone into a productive slave of the pharma industry and lead a meaningless life?

Here, fixed that for you.

Re:$1k per month (1)

KaizerttheBjorn (1039348) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966257)

Hah! We already are slaves of the pharma industry. My doctor tells me I have severe restless leg syndrome, and he recommends Mirapex®.


If you think you have Restless Leg Syndrome, ask your doctor about Mirapex®.

Mirapex®, for effective long term relief of moderate to severe primary restless leg syndrome.

Oh, Please (5, Insightful)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966349)

Look at you. Sitting there, presumably in full control of your faculties, able to socialize, to date, to start and raise a family, to use your time as you wish, to banter back and forth on websites, or read a book, to build a career and take pride in your accomplishments, to further your education and expand your horizons.

Do you even KNOW anybody who suffers from any of these mild-to-mid-grade mental deficiencies? And I don't mean know OF, I mean KNOW and care for?

If you did, you'd see very clearly the tragedy that is a person who much of the time seems completely healthy and normal.

Wouldn't it be GREAT if pharma would give these things away for free? Sure. But this world today is not perfect. And you can't expect just a single industry to "disarm" and go socialized. Even if it WOULD benefit us all.

There's a test you can apply here: When a pharma company spends $1bn researching a drug that ends-up a flop, should we as taxpayers refund that cash to them? If the answer is "no," then you can't begrudge them for taking profits where they can.

And as much as I hate paying $4 for gas, I could say the same about oil: I don't know about you, but 8, 9 years ago when gas was $0.85/gallon, I never decided to pay $1.50 just to help out. Oil companies collapsed and consolodated when Oil was $20/barrel and now, I can't begrudge them for taking profits where they can.

Remember, nearly all of us are shareholders in these companies, whether directly, thru a 401k, thru a pension, thru a union, thru your local government which often invests a portion of its cash-on-hand, etc.

So the drug costs $1k. That's the reality of it. To suggest that being a "slave to the pharma industry" is as bad as being a prisoner of your own reduced faculties shows an abject lack of understanding, not to mention, a serious empathy deficit.

Re:Oh, Please (3, Insightful)

InDi0 (691823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966715)

There's a test you can apply here: When a pharma company spends $1bn researching a drug that ends-up a flop, should we as taxpayers refund that cash to them? If the answer is "no," then you can't begrudge them for taking profits where they can.

You have, in fact, paid for that $1bn of "failed" research. You have paid it by tax money, and you have paid it by buying viagra,anti-depressants or any "lifestyle" drug for that matter. You have paid it because your government is protecting the patents of big farma, everyday, everywhere in the planet.

Yet you still don't "get" it, and you sympathize for the money "lost" in research. Exploratory Research into new drugs can never "fail". Its exploratory, and the benefits may or may not come.

A cure for those you love wont come from private companies, unless you tend to love people in the market segments that managers tend to love.

Re:$1k per month (2, Insightful)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966435)

Ok, so you're born with a condition outside of your control and someone comes up with a cure or at least an alleviation of the condition and you see yourself as a slave? Oh, sorry, the fact that you have the ability to simply comprehend the situation and respond to it (as misguided as your response may be) shows that you're not suffering like these people are.

Being a member of a family with a severely autistic child (my nephew), I can tell you that giving up a bit of cash to the pharmaceutical industry (that paid for the R&D for the potential cure with no guarantee of success or redemption of that funding) is a small price to pay. It's strikes me not only as odd but also as how downright lunkheaded some members of society are about this. Without profit involved the pharmaceutical industry would dry up fast than a puddle in the desert. If that's what you want why not simply boycott the industry. After all, you've already taken the aloof position of not needing their cures anyway.

I suppose you think it's better to languish in pain and suffering instead of paying your fair dues to an entity that gambled to create a remedy in the first place.

Re:$1k per month (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966547)

For someone making the Federal minimum wage in the US, his earnings would almost pay for this drug.

You're not going to get a middle class job with the rare genetic disorder this drug treats.

Re:$1k per month (4, Insightful)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965855)

The cost for custodial care of a moderately to severely impaired autistic adult is an order of magnitude higher. Not to mention the very guilty feeling one endures for choosing to put someone into custodial care.

Autism Affects 1 in 160 Children in the US (5, Informative)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965777)

Having studied the autistic spectrum to some degree, this provides hope for only a few of the range of autistic symptoms. To learn more, check out Autism Speaks [autismspeaks.org] .

Correction: Autism Affects 1 in 150 Children (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965813)

Today's belated visit [autismspeaks.org] shows an increase over their previously published statistic.

Re:Correction: Autism Affects 1 in 150 Children (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966071)

Wow those numbers are high. 1 in 150 is a very large percentage of the population. Is it being over diagnosed? Or are there a lot of cases in which the child is only mildly affected. there is quite a range of how it can affect the child. Also, do those numbers only include autism, or anything "on the spectrum" such as aspergers. Wikipedia states that the numbers for autism [wikipedia.org] are around 1-2 per 1000, and about 6 per 1000 for ASD (on the spectrum).

Re:Correction: Autism Affects 1 in 150 Children (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966227)

I would assume their statistic includes the entire spectrum of autistic disorder classifications. To oversimplify, from lesser to greater impact on individual functioning, the most common diagnoses on the spectrum are Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Asperger's Syndrome and Autism.

Re:Autism Affects 1 in 160 Children in the US (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965849)

Anybody have any figures on what percentage of autism patients have the TSC gene?

TSC Data (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966109)

Quick search of AutismSpeaks.org for TSC turned up this:

Tuberous Sclerosis
Individuals with Tuberous Sclerosis (TS) suffer from learning and behavioral deficits akin to those observed in autism as well as epilepsy. In TS, depending on the study, up to 60% of patients also meet the diagnostic criteria for autism. The defective genes are TSC1 (hamartin) and TSC2 (tuberin) which normally function in a complex of molecules important in cell growth and division. The complex is a suppressor of mTOR signaling. The link to autism turns out to be the PTEN molecule, which similarly functions as a suppressor of mTOR signaling. Some individuals with autism have been found to have mutations in the PTEN gene. Mice deficient in the mouse PTEN gene display autism-like behaviors, as do mice that have low levels of TSC1 and TSC2. Importantly, there is a drug that can function like PTEN, TSC1 and TSC2 in suppressing mTOR -- rapamycin. In the animal models, rapamycin normalizes learning deficits and reverses some of the abnormal phenotypes. Therefore, rapamycin is undergoing clinical trials to determine whether it can be an effective medication to alleviate the symptoms of TS. (Drs. Alcino Silva, Kevin Ess and Luis Parada)

Not exactly what you asked for, but essentially the reverse relationship.

How do you tell a mouse is mentally Impaired? (0, Troll)

Technopaladin (858154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965831)

Well besides the obvious...votes Republican and makes less the 150k a year, Laughs at Carlos Mencia jokes, and lawyers beat it through the maze?

Guessing a drug that cures those symptoms would truly be a blessing

Re:How do you tell a mouse is mentally Impaired? (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965923)

Easy, listen for "Narf!"

Re:How do you tell a mouse is mentally Impaired? (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965945)

It's not like mice are that smart to begin with. Then again the same can be said about the general population.

Re:How do you tell a mouse is mentally Impaired? (0, Troll)

Technopaladin (858154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966489)

I gotta ask. Whoever marked me down troll...which of the 3 were you?

Can this be used in politics? (-1, Troll)

Keyslapper (852034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965835)

If so, when is someone gonna slip this to our witless president?

Now if it can cure him then it really will cure anyone.

Re:Can this be used in politics? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966073)

If so, when is someone gonna slip this to our witless president?

Now if it can cure him then it really will cure anyone.

I thought the NeoCons were evil geniuses who had tricked the US into attacking Iraq to steal the oil and set up a police state back home.

Re:Can this be used in politics? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966145)

I would consider it mandatory for anybody who wants to vote. Since he didn't get to be president without being voted for. He was elected twice. It's a really sad state of affairs when the country that touts the strengths of democracy, has a leader with such a low approval rating [washingtonpost.com] .

Eight years too late. (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965887)

Or two legislatures, as you prefer.

Retarded mice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23965953)

How do they know which mice are retarded or not? Give them the cheese test?

Re:Retarded mice (4, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966031)

How do they know which mice are retarded or not? Give them the cheese test?

They see if the mice RTFA and actually understand it.

My daughter's cat is pretty damned dumb, it moves its lips when it reads.

crazy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23965963)

lots and lots of anti-republican comments and most of them are going to get modded way the hell up, but I bet if someone said "give this to democrats LOL" they'd get modded into oblivion

hahhhahaha captcha is "erector"

Re:crazy (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966535)

lots and lots of anti-republican comments and most of them are going to get modded way the hell up, but I bet if someone said "give this to democrats LOL" they'd get modded into oblivion

Oh, quit whining. People always poke a lot more fun at the party of the administration currently in power.

Science has to be stopped. (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#23965973)


If they cure autism, what am I supposed to do to find postal codes if Billy the office cleanup boy is cured? Look them up online?

Cod Liver Oil (3, Interesting)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966021)

Make sure you get plenty of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids while you're growing up (good source = cod liver oil), and you can avoid many mental problems in the first place [bbc.co.uk]

As a parent of an Autistic... (5, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966055)

...let me say that any hope is a good hope. This condition is a far, far greater burden than you probably realize, and to date most of medical science is still groping in the dark.

My son's neurologist actually prescribed an anti-psychotic to a three-year-old boy. One that, by the way, had NEVER been tested on children and was not FDA approved for that purpose.

There are some voodoo-science options as well. Some work all the time for certain cases, while others do not work at all. Gluten-free/Casen-free diet, Omega3's, Anti-Fungals etc, etc, etc. If you take information like this to a practicing MD they are quite likely to either roll their eyes our laugh outright. Still, there are those that swear by them.

This is where we presently sit.

Imagine having a young man, totally dependent on you, who is struggling not only to fit in, but to avoid punishment for perfectly natural behaviors. Now imagine the feeling when the realization sets in that you simply will not ever be able to 'fix' him, no matter how much parenting you may apply. In fact, try though you do, at the end of the day it feels like no one has helped him at all.

Any hope is a good hope.

Re:As a parent of an Autistic... (4, Interesting)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966291)

Any hope is a good hope.

Amen to that - I'm looking forward to taking my severely autistic stepson out to the Brooklands Double Twelve this Sunday, and will be taking the utmost pleasure from seeing him enjoy himself among all the old racing cars.

The behavioural problems we can cope with, but he's physically handicapped as well, so in residential care.

But every Sunday, come rain or shine, it's Josh's day.

Re:As a parent of an Autistic... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966367)

I hear that. My mother in law has a foster child who is autistic. It's extremely difficult. I wouldn't discount any "voodoo" treatments if I were you though. Although completely unrelated to autism, I've known many people who have cured migraines, just by cutting out certain things from their diet. People who used to be debilitated by migraines for a day or two a week, now cease to have any at all, simply because of a change in diet. Also, concerning diet and autism, some autistic refuse to eat many foods, and apparently it's quite common for them to have an attachment to a particular colour of food. So getting them to eat better can be helped along by offering them foods of their preferred colour.

Re:As a parent of an Autistic... (1)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966701)

My youngest child acually has TSC (tuberous sclerosis complex). Perhaps the worst part is watching her struggle to fit in while completly aware that she does'nt. She is normal enough that anyperson seeing her on the street on in a restruant etc might think without carefull observation that she is at worst a young girl who has not gotten enough sleep, or is "haveing a bad day" behaviorly, however everyday is like this. We struggle daily with her attitude and behavior however. This was hard enough when she was younger, but as she gets older more and more I find myself wondering what will become of her.There is no 'fix' for her. Any hope is good hope. -Amen

Now Americans can drink twice as much beer! (-1, Troll)

jab9990 (1260764) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966077)

Now Americans can drink twice as much beer and still maintain their monkey level of intelligence. Awesome!

Watch out for the autism lobby on this one! (1)

Grendel_Prime (178874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966081)

And just in case you thought I was making that up...

http://www.aspiesforfreedom.com/index.php

So will it be cheaper than treating the cause? (2, Insightful)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966103)

if so... consider it for mice only. I've been waiting years for something that has proven in mice, but just "never seems to cross that gap" to humans.

But then again, when you consider a does of medication that costs 3000 dollars, why would anyone want to cure such a profitable disorder?

ha! (1)

scoopr (849708) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966125)

Cure for the internet!

By November for the US? (3, Funny)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966173)

Can we get this drug to the majority of the US voters before November please?

Re:By November for the US? (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966433)

It doesn't matter how smart the electorate is when neither option is at all that good. Although on both sides, it seems be be a lot better this time around, it still seems like most of the politicians are completely corrupt.

Does it work in smaller doses? (3, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966183)

How many would you have to take before you can correctly pronounce "nuclear"? Because I can think of at least one really important person who needs to learn that already.

repeat (0, Redundant)

groovybomb (1233680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966329)

I've already read Flowers for Algernon

Wake me up when... (4, Funny)

j.sanchez1 (1030764) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966353)

Wake me up when they find a cure for severe retardedness. I'll buy enough for everyone at the office.

Re:Wake me up when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23966513)

It's a shame it won't improve your vocabulary. The word is "retardation". Refer to the title of the page

flowers for algernon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23966467)

who will be the first charlie?

But can it reverse retardation... (1)

Amisinthe (1308593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966591)

in Slashdot posts?

Charley? (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 6 years ago | (#23966639)

Algernon?

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