A Drug That Cures Autism? Neuroscience Study Yields Promising Results

Prescription Drug Concept

In a new study, a drug that blocks sodium channels was shown to curb autism-associated behaviors such as hyperactivity in mice. The drug, lamotrigine — sold under the brand name Lamictal among others — is a medication that is currently used to treat epilepsy and stabilize mood in bipolar disorder.

The behavioral disorders observed in autism are associated with a multitude of genetic alterations. Scientists have now found another molecular cause for this condition. The transcription factor MYT1L normally protects the molecular identity of nerve cells. If it is genetically switched off in human nerve cells or in mice, the functional changes and symptoms typical of autism occur. A drug that blocks sodium channels in the cell membrane can reverse the consequences of MYT1L failure and alleviate the functional and behavioral abnormalities in mice.

Disorders from the autism spectrum (ASD, autism spectrum disorders) are not only manifested by impairments in social interaction, communication, interest formation, and by stereotypical behavior patterns. This is often accompanied by other abnormalities such as epilepsy or hyperactivity.

Scientists are intensively searching for the molecular abnormalities that contribute to this complex developmental disorder. A multitude of genetic factors that influence the molecular programs of the nerve cells have already been linked to the development of autism.

Moritz Mall from the Hector Institute for Translational Brain Research (HITBR) has long been researching the role of the protein MYT1L in various neuronal diseases. The protein is a so-called transcription factor that decides which genes are active in the cell and which are not. Almost all nerve cells in the body produce MYT1L throughout their entire life span.

Human Brain Cells Programmed From Stem Cells

Human brain cells programmed from stem cells in the culture dish (red, green). Credit: © Jana Tegethoff / HITBR

Mall had already shown a few years ago that MYT1L protects the identity of nerve cells by suppressing other developmental pathways that program a cell toward muscle or connective tissue, for example. Mutations in MYT1L have been found in several neurological diseases, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy, but also in brain malformations. In their current work, which is funded by the European Research Council ERC, Mall and his team examined the exact role of the “guardian of neuronal identity” in the development of an ASD. To do this, they genetically switched off MYT1L — both in mice and in human nerve cells that had been derived from reprogrammed stem cells in the laboratory.

The loss of MYT1L led to electrophysiological hyperactivation in mouse and human neurons and thus impaired nerve function. Mice lacking MYT1L suffered from brain abnormalities, such as a thinner cerebral cortex. The animals also showed several ASS-typical behavioral changes such as social deficits or hyperactivity.

What was particularly striking about the MYT1L-deficient neurons was that they produced an excess of sodium channels that are normally mainly restricted to the heart muscle cells. These pore-shaped proteins allow sodium ions to pass through the cell membrane and are thus crucial for electrical conductivity and thus also for the functioning of the cells. If a nerve cell produces too many of these channel proteins, electrophysiological hyperactivation can be the result.

In clinical medicine, drugs that block sodium channels have been used for a long time. These include the agent lamotrigine, which is supposed to prevent epileptic seizures. When MYT1L-deficient nerve cells were treated with lamotrigine, their electrophysiological activity returned to normal. In mice, the drug was even able to curb ASD-associated behaviors such as hyperactivity.

“Apparently, drug treatment in adulthood can alleviate brain cell dysfunction and thus counteract the behavioral abnormalities typical of autism — even after the absence of MYT1L has already impaired brain development during the developmental phase of the organism,” explains Moritz Mall. However, the results are still limited to studies in mice; clinical studies in patients with disorders from the ASD spectrum have not yet been conducted. The first clinical studies are in the early planning phase.

Reference: “MYT1L haploinsufficiency in human neurons and mice causes autism-associated phenotypes that can be reversed by genetic and pharmacologic intervention” by Bettina Weigel, Jana F. Tegethoff, Sarah D. Grieder, Bryce Lim, Bhuvaneswari Nagarajan, Yu-Chao Liu, Jule Truberg, Dimitris Papageorgiou, Juan M. Adrian-Segarra, Laura K. Schmidt, Janina Kaspar, Eric Poisel, Elisa Heinzelmann, Manu Saraswat, Marleen Christ, Christian Arnold, Ignacio L. Ibarra, Joaquin Campos, Jeroen Krijgsveld, Hannah Monyer, Judith B. Zaugg, Claudio Acuna and Moritz Mall, 14 February 2023, Molecular Psychiatry.
DOI: 10.1038/s41380-023-01959-7

The Hector Institute for Translational Brain Research (HITBR) is a joint institution established by the Central Institute of Mental Health (ZI), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Hector Foundation II. The aim of HITBR is to identify new molecular and functional targets for the therapy of severe psychiatric diseases and brain tumors.

76 Comments on "A Drug That Cures Autism? Neuroscience Study Yields Promising Results"

  1. I was on Lamictal for most of my teens leading into it has done nothing but cause more side effects such as severe rage, shaking hands, etc. Lamictal is not a cure and its not even new to ASD.

    -ASD Adult

    • This article is certainly overstating (eg “a cure for autism?”) the significance of this paper. These are undoubtedly interesting findings, but a long way off from anything like a “cure”. Lamictal is a tricky drug even in epilepsy. And it seems highly unlikely that it would “cure” a disorder that has been present since fetal development. Alleviate some portion of symptoms, in some portion of patients? Perhaps. But even there, this is a long ways off from being ready for prime-time.

      I think it’s interesting, and unfortunate, that there is so much anger (directed, weirdly, at other members of the autism and science community) being expressed in these comments. “Autism” is a very large basket, and there are a wide variety of experiences of those who have it or love someone with it. Some folks don’t view it as a problem for them at all – good on them. Others find it very distressing and disabling – totally understandable. It hits everyone differently, and the “high-functioning/mild” vs “low-functioning/severe” split doesn’t even do justice to the variety of symptoms and experiences it causes. Can we all just take a breath and be supportive of each other? If there are medicines that help with symptoms then great – those who are bothered by their symptoms can take the medicine, but no one has to take anything.

      But again, the above article is a mere suggestion of something that *might* someday be helpful for *some* people. I’m glad that scientists are making some progress in understanding the biology of this very complex disease (which, for what it’s worth, I imagine will turn out to be more a collection of various neuronal, genetic and molecular processes that produce phenotypically similar symptoms, rather than one unifying cause). Hugs all around, especially to those here who are suffering.

  2. Jesus Christ we’ve been saying for ages that we DON’T WANT A “CURE!”
    Is it that challenging to be a decent and respectful human being?

    • What’s wrong with you?

    • Then don’t take it!

      • Cure = Genocide
        They have already done it to fetuses with Down Syndrome so we know they will eliminate all autistic people without our consent.
        It will not be upto the individual at hand whether they are cured or not. I have consumed Lamotrigine for 30+ years, the maximum dosage, and I have not been cured of autism.
        Another problem is who’s entitled to the “cure” will be dependent on wealth, if you can’t spare $10,000 sorry, you’re not entitled to be cured.

        Don’t you recognise the simple truth that they don’t even know what autism is as researchers have not intended to identify it, just prevent it?
        Don’t you realise all the “symptoms” are not specific to autism as there’s many nonautistic people who experience the same?

        If they knew what autism is they would be able to do a brain scan and say whether the person is or isn’t autistic. If they know what autism is why can’t it be diagnosed directly?

        Cure > Less diversity > Human extinction

    • Can we cure all the normal people instead please and make them autistic. This article is as ignorant as it is nauseating

    • YOU don’t want this. Don’t presume to speak for all autistic people. Unlike you, i have been BEGGING for a cure for years. Can selfish @ssholes like you stop saying “we” as though you speak for the community writ large? It’s it that challenging to be a decent and respectful human being?

      • I think no I’m 98% sure my 3 yr old has some kind of autism. I don’t know where to go or what to do. It makes me so sad for her. I’m lost. I love her so much. Any suggestions or any help available. We live in des moines, ia.

    • You lier don’t you dare to speak instead of me! I want a cure, this disorder ruined my life!

      • Altruisticconstant | February 21, 2023 at 12:26 pm | Reply

        Fellow Autistic human here . . . just a wondering, was it Autism that ruined your life or was it ableism and a persistent lack of empathy from neurotypical people?

  3. Yeah you should be ashamed even publishing this article. We don’t need fixing. What next, pills to make people straight or to make people of color, white.

    • I need a cure. Stop pretending to be royal using “we” instead of “me”. Just speak for yourself and let me be.

      • Altruisticconstant | February 21, 2023 at 12:30 pm | Reply

        None of these actually “cure” autism nor could they ever cure it. Autism is a brain difference. These cures strictly make your “behavior” more socially acceptable. And you’d have to take the cure forever.

        Personally, I’m going to pass on the cure. Being socially acceptable is overrated.

  4. Also, whilst reading this article and another like it, I’m not getting a real idea of what “behaviors” they are even talking about that would “cure” anything. There’s lacking of anything of substance here.

  5. Autism isn’t a disease that needs to be cured. Its a different operating system, different doesn’t mean broken. Neuro-diversity is actually a good thing for the human species.

    • My son has severe autism. He can’t speak. He’s very hyper. He has self stimulatory behaviors, self injury and aggression. I understand the angst of many individuals with high functioning autism. all of my favorite people have Asperger’s, and contribute amazing things to this world. but when one insults the commitment of researchers, and the consequential identification of causes of autism, and treatments for autism, that is likewise very offensive. I am always seeking therapies that will better my sons quality of life and the quality of life from our family. Thank you doctors and scientists.💕🙏

    • My autism is a disorder that I want to be cured from. I am broken, my life is broken and that is the truth. It improved over the years but it prevented me from having enjoyable life. Speak for yourself!

  6. an autistic adult, i aint doxing myself | February 15, 2023 at 12:51 pm | Reply

    as an autistic adult, this is just confirming the idea that autistic people need to be ‘fixed’. we dont need to be fixed, the way people view us needs to be fixed. just treat us with some respect please.

    • As autistic adult myself, can you treat me with respect please and stop pretending that you can speak in my behalf. If you don’t want to be fixed, than don’t. I want to have options open! Besides, you insulted all medicine taking population.

      • The things those of you who desire a cure claim have wrecked your life are not specific to autism, there’s nonautistic people who have the same experiences. If you could cure autism and took the cure you would actually still be autistic.

        Scientists don’t even know what autism is which is why it has always been a moving target, this article is not even about a cure to autism. Secondly, who’s entitled to a cure is dependent on your wealth, if you can’t spare $10,000 sorry, no cure for you. Just like today’s interventions bankrupt parents, a cure will bankrupt parents.

  7. Darius Spearman | February 15, 2023 at 1:38 pm | Reply

    Here come the self-appointed spokespeople for the autism community. If you don’t want to be cured, don’t take the cure. There are people who are suffering who could benefit. It is not your place to decide what treatment options are available for other people.

    • Have any autistic person told you personally that they are suffering due to their autism. If an autistic or a disabled person in general haven’t told you they suffering then don’t assume they are. A lot of autistic people like me don’t want a cure because we aren’t suffering because of our autism, if we are suffering from anything it’s society not accommodating and be accepting of us.

      • Hello, autistic person here to tell you that i am suffering due to my autism. I suffer daily, I detest my life, and the ugly, awful person that my autism has made me. I have tried multiple times to end my own life because of my autism. I want to thank people like Darius for defending people like me whose voices are drowned out by the overwhelming selfishness of people who believe that because they do not want something it means nobody should have it.

        • So you want to change your brain, how it functions, how you’ve learned, and part of who you are because its hard? There is nothing wrong with Autism. Autism is literally how certain brains function. I understand that it sucks & hurts. But changing your brain & it’s function isn’t going to do much. You will still have your tendencies that you’ve always had. Since habits aren’t easy to break. All you’ll be doing is hurting yourself & the people around you. You simply have to change how you react, how you handle your emotions too. Medication &/or Therapy can help with that. A Cure for Autism won’t. And a Cure would hurt more people than it’ll help. Please take that into consideration.

        • It’s more selfish for you to want your own way to bring humanity to extinction.
          You’ve indoctrinated yourself with Francis Galton’s doctrine, people who suffer only do so because of how you choose to view life. Reality is observer dependent, the reality you see is the reality you choose to see.

      • All the other autistic ppl here saying “we” don’t want to be fixed, I want to be fixed,and no, it’s not because the neurotypicals told me it’s not okay, i’ve actually only encountered positivity and acceptance from those that know i am, i just know that my life would’ve been much better if i didn’t have it, i think it’s valid to have these types of researches, because those that do want to make a change for themselves, i do however think that they shouldn’t be given to children, in case there maybe be adults that want to force them into taking these drugs, it should be something that they should do out of their own choice whenever they are old enough to choose, but as this comment section shows, there are ppl who find their autism as a burden, and they want a way to change it,for their sake, there should be a way to solve this issue.

  8. These drugs make me confused.It doesn’t help my Asperger’s only my
    epilepsy.And we see here,a mouse is not a human.Dont work for Asperger.

  9. I’m autistic, this article read as a little insensitive. I don’t want a cure to act “normal” I want to not be stigmatized and given opportunities for accommodation in day to day life. I have been on things like Lamotrigine and all it’s maybe helped with one symptom only to turn around and make everything else worse.

    • For all of you who are saying you do not want a cure and stop trying to cure autism are you going to take care of the children when their parents die and the children are unable to talk if you are so smart and knowledgeable why don’t you understand that this is a spectrum disorder and many autistic people do not have the ability to read right and communicate and make a fuss like you do so stop saying you don’t want a cure and stop saying that nobody needs a cure you are not the parents just be grateful that you could talk and communicate and you don’t have to worry where you’ll end up as an adult It’s because of people like use that slow down the process and made it a trendy thing for autism that we cannot even find proper solutions because you and others have made it a trend and defensive to try to help somebody with autism you should be ashamed of yourself Don’t speak for everyone there are hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of people that have low functioning autism that would love to have a cure so go fly a kite please with your politically correct information

  10. 😡 ! Autism is NOT a disease or a disorder!!

    The following extract should have no place in a so-called science journal :

    “Disorders from the autism spectrum (ASD, autism spectrum disorders) are not only manifested by impairments in social interaction, communication, interest formation, and by stereotypical behavior patterns. This is often accompanied by other abnormalities such as epilepsy or hyperactivity.”

    • You know what cures autism, not injecting toxins into kids!! It’s free too, and no side effects!!! Stop medicating our kids!!!

      • I’m not fully sure what you mean by injecting tonics but if you mean vaccines. Then I hope you’re not implying that vaccine causes autism because it doesn’t. There is no proof that vaccines causes autism The scientist who the experiment that is the reason everyone still that vaccine is the cause, he got his license taken away because he lied about his results! You can look in to it if you don’t believe me.

  11. Have any autistic person told you personally that they are suffering due to their autism. If an autistic or a disabled person in general haven’t told you they suffering then don’t assume they are. A lot of autistic people like me don’t want a cure because we aren’t suffering because of our autism, if we are suffering from anything it’s society not accommodating and be accepting of us.

    • Yes. I am an autistic person and i suffer greatly due to my autism. I lack the capacity to feel genuine happiness for other people and it makes me feel disgusting. I have no friends, am unable to save a job, i am incapable of forming relationships. I can barely care for my self and I am desperate to be able to have these things. I am so lonely it causes me physical pain that i have tried to stop by taking own life. Stop trying to take away any last shred of hope i have for a life. Please. I am begging you. Stop this crusade. You are actively harming people like me.

      • What you describe here sounds like antisocial personality disorder, not autism. Not saying you’re not autistic but inability to feel empathy isn’t an autistic trait, it’s an aspd trait. Look into dbt, that can help aspd, lamotrigine certainly doesn’t affect autistic traits beyond making people feel doped up and detatched from the world.

  12. Let me know the dose that cures it, because it clearly isn’t 200mg every day for 10 years. Seriously; I would honestly love a cure. Those who say that “autism isn’t a disorder and there doesn’t need to be a cure” don’t speak for all of us. And yes, I was professionally diagnosed at age 11; I’m not some TikTok tweenager with a WebMD degree.

    Also, by textbook definition, ASD is absolutely a disorder. GTFO with your fake activism; you’d kick me to the curb before you’d actually help me IRL.

    • Thank you. Thank you a thousand times. Seeing these selfish replies best so overwhelming i almost give up hope. Thank you for existing, and using you voice to let people know that some of us DO want this

    • Don’t rely on Lamotrigine, I’ve been consuming the maximum dosage 300 twice a day for 30+ years and it hasn’t effected my autism, not even the symptoms.

  13. I would have been diagnosed as Autistic in today’s world, just by the hand-shaking alone from what I’ve read. I was also very anti-social towards adults. I got diagnosed as “shy” all the time. But did anyone ever treat me with respect and ASK me WHY I was shy? I wasn’t “living in my own world”. I simply felt like adults treated me like I was stupid. I sometimes didn’t get along with other children my age because my IQ is around 140 and I wasn’t into eating boogers and paste. I was writing short stories by 3rd grade that were 12-20 pages long and reading books in the 400-600 page range in 2nd grade. Yes, I loved to flap my hands. I head to break myself of the habit because people think you are “special” (trying not to use the musical word meaning slow, but that’s what they used then when in fact, I was quite the opposite).

    I know many “autistics” that are Valedictorians and I think the problem is “society’s expectations” of what they consider “normal” that is the real problem. By normal, they mean AVERAGE and I’m sorry, but I make no apologies for being smarter than 98% of the planet. Shyness is fear of people LABELING you, which is exactly what all these “doctors” do when they apply a stigmatizing label like “Autistic” to you. Maybe they should just work on improving communication instead of labeling people freaks because they don’t enjoy bull-bleeping about the weather or pretending they’re interested in something they’re not.

    • They seem scared of us. They’re terrified of Elon Musk. They defame him, they defame us. They would love nothing more than your 140 IQ and my 128 to be 98 like them.

  14. absolutely disgusting, you should be ashamed of yourselves for publishing this.

  15. My son who has autism (pdd/nos) as well as epilepsy was onced placed on lamictal (as an alternative to keppra) and it was one of our worst experiences ever. The side effects were awful, and included making our son terrified of literally everything, especially while outside, whereas before he loved being outside. He eventually went back to his normal self once he was transitioned off lamictal, but it was literally hell in the meantime. And no, he doesn’t need to be cured, he just needs to have his seizures controlled.

  16. Ngl, I would take this if it were proven to reduce traits. I’m dealing with ADd on top, and between the two I will take whatever help I can get. I’m tired of feeling like a Martian.

    Not going to speak for anyone else, but I’m a mess. I’m barely managing basic standards of functionality, although I’m able to muddle through just about. Anything is worth trying for an improvement.

    • You are not alone in wanting a cure, don’t let these people overwhelm you. Your opinion is valid. YOU are valid. Keep holding on, eventually there will be help.

    • If you want better functioning focus more on making your environment cater to your needs. When organisms are in suitable environments it increases and strengthens neural networks increasing functioning.

      During lock down from COVID-19 autistic children excelled with their development and learning once they settled at home to remote learning. Motor skills, reading, writing, communication, mathematics all increased more than ever. The stressful school environment not catering to their needs is what hindered and prevented the autistic children developing and learning.

  17. This staging of this is frankly disgusting. There is a “cure” for autism because there doesn’t need to be one. It’s not a disease.
    Equally, the drug they are talking about isn’t new, it’s been used for years to treat epilepsy & is already known to have an effect on hyperactivity… which by the way is not a marker for autism.
    Really disappointing to see this information presented this way. – ADHD adult with an Autisic child

  18. So, not a cure; just a questionable treatment for certain specific conditions associated with autism in some people. Enough with the click-baity headlines and ableist writing. It only feeds the trolls.

  19. Lamotrigine has a black box warning i.e. for “serious adverse reactions such as: Serious skin rashes, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis.”

  20. I don’t need to be fixed. What would be good is a society that cares and is inclusive. It’s not hard.
    That also applies to disabled people who are also treated appallingly.

  21. lol wow fat acceptance has now moved into autism acceptance…what next, sepsis acceptance???

  22. @asD – It’s not about Autism acceptance. It’s that they increasingly place everyone who does not “behave” the way they “think they should” into this increasingly meaningless label. There might be some real cases where people have some kind of mental or functional disability, but when I read hand flapping is a sure sign of Autism, I cringe because while I have no idea why “flapping” my hands when I got excited made me feel even better, it certainly has nothing to do with intelligence or communication abilities in my case.

    Assumptions that “odd” behaviors make someone deserving of some “label” that seems to fit “everything we can’t explain” is ridiculous. The Fibromyalgia label does that increasingly to abnormal degrees. There is something there for real, but labeling every ache and pain that can’t be explained by say hitting your hand on something isn’t a disease. It’s a symptom of something else. I had unexplained pains around my neck and they blamed a slightly bulging disc in my neck. It turns out I had frozen shoulder syndrome from pulling a tendon and it tightening up when it healed and nerves going nuts in the immediate vicinity around my shoulder and neck. That didn’t stop six doctors from suggesting it was fibromyalgia out of complete ignorance to the real cause (the specialist found it in 20 seconds and the weird neck sensations went away after just one week of physical therapy.

    I find lazy doctors don’t want to look too hard. They make more money moving the conveyor belt along yet they talk to me like I’m stupid when I often seem to know more about various diseases than they do despite my degrees being in EE/EET and a minor in English. As an industrial machinery electronic technician, my job has a lot of down time when things are running OK to read on everything under the sun whereas I doubt many of them really keep up with the latest medical findings, but when you read an article like this, you have to wonder if the people blowing smoke keep blowing it on down the line.

    It’s like Dark Matter and Dark Energy. They’re just totally unproven theories, but people keep building upon them like they’re a rock instead of shifting sand and the house inevitably will fall down as the latest observations from the Webb telescope make it obvious they don’t exist and the BBT probably didn’t happen (observations of galaxies do not match predictions and the whole red shift idea of Doppler-like measurements may be in question as the alternate theory of “light dimming” may in fact be true as space isn’t “empty” like we once thought in the early 20th Century), but the “many” will probably take decades to realize this since it’s career wasting/ending.

    They say Science isn’t a religion, but the pig-headed stubbornness against change of long-held theories (beliefs) sure resembles it to me.

  23. Not necessarily true. My son is high functioning autistic, was on Lamictal & it did NOTHING for him. Surely there are people who may or truly do see improvement but I would not go as far as claiming it to be a “cure” for autism.

  24. There are different levels of autism some are high functioning and some are 34 year olds unable to speak forever in diapers who attack those around the and run into traffic so if you think autism doesn’t need a cure you are wrong for those with more severe autism they are unable to be independent or express themselves or their needs feeding bathing dressing is something they will need help with forever they don’t understand not to play with their own s*** or eat their own s*** or run into traffic so yes a cure would be fabulous

  25. I am autistic. Let me echo that there CAN’T be a ‘cure’ because Autism isn’t a disease. It’s a neurotype.
    The study does not even claim to alleviate Autism writ large. Just certain symptoms.
    A brain that is fully formed CANNOT be changed by a drug like lamotrigine. That is just not scientifically possible.
    A lot of aspects of autism are only disruptive/weird because society is neurotypical and not built for people with Autism.
    Autistic people DO suffer when having to deal with this society but any autistic person who claims to want a ‘cure’ has likely been exposed to ridicule from a young age for their autism – perhaps even from parents. Autism Speaks claimed to be looking for a ‘cure’ and was essentially seeking to eliminate Autism altogether. This convinced a LOT of parents that autism was bad and their child was broken. Add to that virulent antivaxxers who believe that vaccines cause autism and you have kids and now adults who have been told they are broken, unfit for society, and they have to be fixed and wer’re just waiting for the science to catch up.
    Which is WRONG!
    My heart breaks for these kids (and adults). Autism != broken!!!!
    Now, would a drug that might lessen the sense of being overwhelmed, or over stimulated or some other purported ‘bad’ aspect of social behavior be welcome when dealing with neurotypical society? Of course. I personally take an anti-depressant and I take adderall in order to focus at work (I have ADHD as well). They help me to function in an NT world.
    But that’s a personal choice.
    At any rate, this article’s title is terrible and show a huge lack of understanding by the author. I allow that this might be for the clickbait but it doesn’t change the fact. Do better.

    Also I was on lamotrigine and it didn’t do anything for ‘autism’. Your mileage may vary.

  26. Wieger Broekhuizen | February 17, 2023 at 4:32 pm | Reply

    As others have said autism isn’t something that needs to be cured.
    These editors are stupid

  27. I agree with the above commenters and am on the spectrum, too, and won’t beat the dead horse but Aspies tend to be nerds and the authors of this had to be, at least, somewhat aware of the backlash they were going to get. Talking about curing autism to a STEM audience is going to go over about as well as conversion therapy at a gay nightclub. Like, anyone with the most peripheral cognizance of the Aspie communiy would have been able to anticipate the uproar of livid anger.

  28. Georgie-Ann Evans | February 17, 2023 at 11:36 pm | Reply

    This article is ridiculous. There is no “cure” for autism. If you take a Claritin and it helps you to alleviate excessive sneezing did you “cure” your allergies?
    Also, I was prescribed Lamotrigine at one time and took it for well over a year. It did absolutely nothing to curb any of my symptoms.
    Lastly, autism is a neurological disorder causing positive differences as well as negative ones. It is not a disease! Too many people look at bad behaviour and blame it on autism, then look at all the good behaviours and think those behaviours are in spite of, not due to the individuals neuro diversity.
    It’s really getting sickening seeing all these posts about curing autism. Its an integral part of who I am. Everything I experience is through an autistic filter. Essentially, you are saying that who we are is so wrong we don’t deserve to be alive.

  29. What the actual f*ck? Autism ISNT A DISEASE. Stop trying to ‘find a cure’ it is a NEUROTYPE. I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with you, but you’re gonna cause so much harm and pain to autistic people and children around the world. We should be working on changing a world to accommodate for all neurodiverse people, not trying to change the fact that we have neurodiversity in the first place. Extremely disappointed and frankly disgusted with someone of you researchers and scientists.

  30. level 2 adult who wants a cure. | February 18, 2023 at 8:27 am | Reply

    There are a lot of low support needs in the comments here speaking for the rest of us, like always. Level 1 and low support needs are always speaking for the rest of us. Some of us who are level 2 and 3 and who have higher support requirements would like a cute. If your autism is not causing you hardship don’t drag the rest of us down with you and say we don’t want help. Some of us want and need help.

  31. From reading the comments and from my personal experience as a women with autism I feel like I’ve never been accepted as being “special” I have grown up masking and hating that part of myself and have only just started the long road of working through my trauma and acceptedong me for who I am. Things like these articles make it a lot harder for me to do that. Instead I wish that people who post and explore how to help, specifically adults, adapt and thrive as an adult. I understand that some people desperately need this, but don’t call me selfish for wanting to feel accepted by society, I know how it feels to hate yourself to the point where you have suicidal thoughts, everyone is different but I do have some understanding from the last six months. So saying I don’t support this isn’t saying I don’t support finding help for those people, but don’t call it a cute like there is a disease in me instead of my brain just physically being wired differently. Just look at me like in a person, not something that needs to be studied and looked at without every actually talking and asking the people they are looking at.

  32. The only way to ‘cure’ (if you can even call it that ugh) is to invent a time machine to go back and rewire our brain before we are born. Autism is not a fricking disease nor can it it be ‘cured’. This article is pure ignorance and discrimination. It is a SPECTRUM. Some of us suffer and some of us don’t. Some of us can function and some of us can’t. Retract this hateful %h*t. Seriously, stuff like this genuinely makes me want to unalive my self in minecraft.

  33. You are royal, referring of yourself as “we”? I want the cure! I need it! You don’t know what are you talking about!

  34. I can’t stand being autistic, always on the sideline of society, never participating. If you’re okay with your autism, that’s fine, but don’t force your views on me, I do want a f***ing cure!

  35. Neurotype! I understand that high functioning autistics don’t want to be labelled with a disorder. But my son has low functioning autism. He is 11 and can’t talk, can’t communicate and can’t do even the basic self care. I worry about him everyday. Where will he end up when I’m not around? Who will look after him? He has no independence and relies on me 100%. It’s very scary and yes I would love a cure! You people need to understand that it’s a spectrum!!!

  36. I have a problem with the assumptions I am required to imbibe without question, by proxy.
    The first one being the most obvious….what do mice & humans have to do with each other? Because we are both mammals? THAT’S the hill your gonna die on? And you want me to trust my health on such flimsy evidence? Not only, but my allegiance is demanded & monitored so that snowflakes don’t feel triggered or offended
    Who decides what a spectrum consists of? Those who fall within its parameters are dismissed in favor of experts whose bank accounts grow exponentially. But I am pilloried for saying how it is?

  37. I think that one of the things that is missing from the discourse happening in the comments is a distinction between individualism and communal approaches and the difference in responsibility between Autistics talking about their own experiences and Allistics, particularly in science and journalism, framing things in a very specific and narrow way.

    For instance, many individual autistics may talk about or desire a “cure” because they are disabled by structural issues that continue to marginalize Autistics, particularly high-support-needs Autistics and this causes them extreme distress and pain. This is entirely valid and true to their experience of the world. In contrast, the pursuit of a “cure” for Autism without also addressing the many social and structural issues that are in fact the predominant disabling factors treads alarmingly close to eugenecist narratives. Collectively, this is extremely harmful.

    Both of these things can be true at once. We can create space for the myriad Autistic experiences while also expressing concern and even condemning the trajectory of a pathological model. I, as an Autistic person, can even disagree with other Autistics on this issue. I personally do not feel that I need to be cured, but i am low-support needs by comparison to others. I prefer a social model of disability that chooses instead to focus on structural issues that marginalize and disable my community as a whole, particularly high-support-needs, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ Autistics.

    The applicability to Autism in this research is overstated, and I highly doubt that any specific gene target that will lead to meaningful genetic therapies will be found soon, but I do see how studying the blockage of sodium channels could potentially be useful in neuropsychology more broadly. The issue here, for me, is that this focus on Autistic traits (some listed of which would not indicate autism according to DSM criteria–hyperactivity being one) seem irrelevant, centered on stigma, and makes correlation in mice that is very far from indicating an impact in humans–for instance, how does one quantify “Autistic traits” in mice without also looking at the rampant stigma, misinformation, misapplication of assumption, and bias in the study of Autistic traits in human beings (nost of which also have tiny sample sizes). It is difficult to look at this, and the mouse model of Autism broadly, and not believe that the primary interest is not to help Autistics but to eliminate us.

  38. As an advocate who has Asperger’s who understands both sides I feel I can give my two cents. I will address both sides here.


    Although “we” in the neurodiversity movement understand that you all want a cure, when we say “we” we aren’t referring to those who want a cure. We are referring to the neurodiversity movement. “We” view autism as a gift and are against a cure and prevention because we believe the good things about autism outweighs the bad things. Literal thinking, being unable to lie due to being brutally honest, being super smart, pure of heart, mind of a child, ect; are gifts and autistic people can see and figure out things neurotypicals can’t. We have intelligence beyond measure. Why would anyone want to prevent that or get rid of it? That’s how WE see things. That being said, I personally feel sorry for those of you who are against being autistic and it breaks my heart you were brainwashed into believing autism was bad because of the circumstances you went through. Value yourselves for who you are. You are perfect the way you are. That being said, you also have a right to be normal if you want but you DO NOT have a right to bully the neurodiversity movement for believing differently. We are NOT disrespecting you just because we identify differently. Respect goes both ways. Respect all sides.

    Now I address the neurodiversity movement:

    I’m on your side. I too believe autism is a gift for the reasons stated above. I too am against a cure and prevention. Try to understand how those who are neurodivergent are feeling. They obviously has things happen that made them feel the way they do. I used to be neurodivergent myself and I too used to support ABA, a cure and prevention until my psychologist addressed the good qualities of autism. I am now a full member of the neurodiversity movement and proud of it. The fact people get offended when you speak out and react in anger means you’re on the right side. People don’t get offended unless they know you are right. That’s basic psychology. Notice only the neurodivergents are reacting with anger and “we” are NOT. That should tell you something. Regardless be kind to them and neurodivergents I mean no offense with all this but you all really need to learn to respect other peoples opinions.

    Please keep all comments kind and respectful. If I see any negativity I will be reporting it as harassment. Thank you.

  39. I realize these comments were made months ago but I do have to say – the ones on here saying that they are autistic and it can’t be cured and it’s a neurotype & it isn’t something to be fixed – all of these comments are very frustrating for me – no one is trying to “fix” you or “cure” you. I am neurodivergent and I have a daughter who is as well and she struggles, every day, to do all the things the majority of us take for granted. So yeah – I am hopeful that at some point there will be medication to help her struggle less, just like there is medication that helps me struggle less. No one is trying to erase who I am or who she is – I am still the same person, but now I can actually function in the world, able to have relationships, children, a career. I can only hope there is something similar for my daughter at some point.

    • Daniel Moore | May 23, 2023 at 1:06 am | Reply

      Autism literally is who we are, there’s no so-called normal person behind autism.
      Autism influences everything about us, cure autism and we will not be who we are, we will be an entirely different person meaning the person we are you wish didn’t exist. In other words, you believe the world would be better without us like Francis Galton, Adolf Hitler, and the Nazis.

      It’s unbelievable how many of you want to bring humanity to extinction.

  40. Daniel Moore | May 23, 2023 at 1:14 am | Reply

    They’re disguising their eugenics. They’re already aborting more black people than white, they already disallow disabled people to be born, more females are aborted than males, all advertisements of designer babies are images of white males.
    There’s advertisements of anti aging which has nothing to do with sicknesses or diseases, if it was only about sicknesses and diseases they wouldn’t of ever thought of touching the human germline.
    This is racism, sexism, ableism, eugenics and capitalism.

    They do not have the right to mess with a person’s genes just because they perceive something about them as a “problem”.
    Autism is not a problem, they claim they value all humans equally, since they want to rub us out of existence they clearly do not see us as equal, they are full of discriminatory thoughts like Hitler doing eugenics. The problem is clearly they’re view of autism and other primarily genetic conditions. I love being autistic, I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

    Molecular biologist Miroslav Radman writes, “Mutagenesis has traditionally been viewed as an unavoidable consequence of imperfections in the process of DNA replication and repair. But if diversity is essential to survival, and if mutagenesis is required to generate such diversity, perhaps mutagenesis has been positively selected for throughout evolution.”

    This will bring us to extinction. Especially since there’s contradictory evidence.

    Evelyn Fox Keller explains:
    “We now know that mechanisms for enduring genetic stability are a product of evolution. Yet a surprising number of mutations in which at least some of these mechanisms are disabled have been found in bacteria living under natural conditions. Why do these mutants persist? Is it possible that they provide some selective advantage to the population as a whole? Might the persistence of some mutator genes in a population enhance the adaptability of that population? Apparently so. New mathematical models of bacterial populations in variable environments confirm that, under such conditions, selection favors the fixation of some mutator alleles and furthermore, that their presence accelerates the pace of evolution.”

    The mutants behind autism and other conditions like Down Syndrome offer some great advantages to the human race, diminishing the genes is a great risk because without those mechanisms there is no asurety of genetic stability pushing us in the direction of extinction.

    Psychologist Howard Gardner warns:
    “With the coming of age of genetics, the danger magnifies. Beyond doubt we will discover genes that are important for reading alphabetical scripts; and there is already evidence that a small set of genes may be related to reading problems. As with the brain evidence, such information can be helpful for early intervention; but it could easily be used for stigmatising purposes. Indeed, it might become relevant for marriage prospects, holding a job, securing insurance, or even eugenic purposes. And no doubt, especially in our interventionist society, individuals with a genetic predisposition for reading problems will look into different kinds of genetic engineering or therapy. It is possible that such interventions will work and have no negative side effects, but it is perhaps more likely that they will have unanticipated effects. And we might even want to consider which valued human abilities – eg. spatial or pattern recognition skills – might be placed at risk were we to target our interventions specifically at reading disorders.”

    They really want to destroy all alternative perceptions and ways of thinking. They’re ignoring how many abilities they are going to destroy and how impoverished they are going to make our world because of their cultural myopia.
    Each time they have tried playing God they have only caused harm. Who caused the climate change? Scientists playing God trying to control nature, did the Gods anticipate the climate change?

    They are not only messing with humans, this whole earth is interconnected, they are messing with the entire ecosystem, with all life. How many species have been brought to extinction because of humans manipulating nature, there’s endangered species today thanks to humans manipulating nature.

    If we fail to understand and take care of the natural world, it can cause a breakdown of these systems and come back to haunt us in ways we know little about. A critical example is a developing model of infectious disease that shows that most epidemics — AIDS, Ebola, West Nile, SARS, Lyme disease and hundreds more that have occurred over the last several decades — don’t just happen. They are a result of things people do to nature.
    The diseases they claim they want to cure were caused by doing this, so why are they doing it again?
    Was the world ready for COVID-19 to strike? I doubt it.
    World War II was caused by eugenics, why are they following Adolf Hitler’s steps?

    Mutations are not random or accidental, malaria is endemic in Africa and Africans have developed mutations that protect them from malaria through adaptation, the sickle cell mutation is a defence mechanism against malaria. Europeans don’t have these mutations, if a European goes to Africa they are more likely to get a disease. It was mutations that enabled the Europeans to survive the 14th century bubonic plague.
    Editing one gene may cure a disease but at the same time make them more susceptible to other diseases. Eliminate the sickle cell mutation from the gene pool and you’ve destroyed the only defence mechanism against malaria.
    Such foolishness.

    This is wicked and pure evil to think we don’t deserve to be born just because we are different. CRISPR-Cas9 is a direct violation of human rights, especially human autonomy.
    They need to sort their discriminatory thoughts out and not touch us without our consent!

    “The Human Genome Project is founded upon a fallacy. There is no such thing as “the human genome.” Neither in space nor in time can such a definite object be defined. At hundreds of different loci, scattered throughout the twenty-three chromosomes, there are genes that differ person to person. No body can say blood group A is “normal” and O, B, and AB are “abnormal.” So when the Human Genome Project publishes the sequence of the typical human being, what will it publish for the ABO gene on chromosome 9? The project’s declared aim is to publish the average or “consensus” sequence of 200 different people. But this would miss the point in the case of the ABO gene, because it is a crucial part of its function that it should not be the same in everybody. Variation is an inherent and integral part of the human – or indeed any – genome.”

    The BBC Reported:
    This complete, single human genome will be a monumental technical achievement. Only 70 years have passed since the double-helix structure of DNA was first revealed, thanks in part to a grainy black and white image taken by Rosalind Franklin, transforming our understanding of how genetic information is stored. Today we have the capability to read the entire genetic ‘textbook’ that makes a person unique.
    But the geneticists involved say it is also a beginning, not an end. They now want to sequence the genomes of people from around the world, to build up a true picture of our species’ genetic diversity. They want to understand what the previously unsequenced sections of DNA are doing. And they want to roll out end-to-end genome sequencing in clinics, to help doctors diagnose and treat us when we get sick.
    In short, the human genome will never be complete. We will never be done reading it.

  41. This is a framing issue. This drug does not “cure” autism because autism is a neurotype. What it likely does do is helps alleviate neurological and/or nerve issues that are a comorbidity for many of the folks who also have intellectual disability. These folks will still be autistic but this medication may help them regulate.

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