A new study states that regular supplementation of amino acids could help in the treatment of a rare form of autism. The study published in the Journal of Science was able to identify that this rare form of autism is likely caused by an amino acid deficiency.
Researchers were able to isolate a genetic mutation in some autism patients which speeds up metabolism of certain amino acids. These essential amino acids, branched chain amino acids BCAAs, are not produced naturally in the human body and must be acquired through food. Because of the speeded up metabolism, the patients with this mutation burned through their stores of the amino acid more quickly than normal, creating an imbalance the researchers think may be linked to the neuro-behaviorial symptoms of autism.
“It was very surprising to find mutations in a potentially treatable metabolic pathway specific for autism,” said co-author Joseph Gleeson of the University of California, San Diego.
“What was most exciting was that the potential treatment is obvious and simple: Just give affected patients the naturally occurring amino acids their bodies lack.”
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