Austism and Ampakines
There is some interest in using ampakines to help people with autism.
Scientists did tests on mice with a genetic signature said to model autism in humans. The ampakines CX1837 and CX1739 increased a measurement of socialability of the mice.
It makes sense that enhancement of the cognitive function of the brain would effect changes in mammal behavior. The scientists also tried the ampakine CX546,.
Researchers have tested CX1837 and CX1739 in mice used to model autism. They found the drugs helped facilitate sociability and the higher doses tested has the most effects. The drugs did not make the mice hyperactive or sedated,
Of course, some autistics say they don't need treatment and that autism is just another way of being human. We are not judging or saying they need treatment or would benefit from it, but that ampakines are being investigated along these lines.
Another promising use for ampakines is for people who have overdosed on depressants. For instance, people who have taken barbituate drugs with alcohol can experience respiratory depression and that can be dangerous. Indeed, it used to result in many accidental deaths back when barbituates were commonly employed as sleeping pils. Experimenters have shown the ampakine CX717 can reduce the respiratory depression and hypoventilation in mice given alcohol and barbituate.
Huntington's Disease is notoriously difficult to treat. Scientists have been trying ampakine on mice models. Ampakines seem to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which scientists know is at a low level in the bodies of Huntingdon't patients. Mice treated had a reduction in movement disorders. It should be noted this is at a very preliminary stage of research.
Could ampakines be used to treat hyperactivity someday? Depression? Maybe. Scientists are looking into the compounds for dementia, Rhett syndrome, schizophrenia, and Angelman syndrome. The increased brain plasticity they seem to induce means there are many possibilities. Further one article says "Ampakines are also being studied by the US military for use as cognitive enhancers and alertness promoters for soldiers in high-stress extended combat situations."
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