Un medicamento contra la diarrea podría ayudar a tratar los principales síntomas del autismo

Actualmente no existen tratamientos efectivos para los síntomas centrales del trastorno del espectro autista (TEA), como las dificultades para socializar y comunicarse. Ahora un nuevo estudio utiliza una red de interacción de proteínas basada en computadora para identificar si los medicamentos existentes podrían proporcionar un nuevo enfoque de tratamiento.

Fortasec es la principal marca comercial de la loperamida.© E. M.

Los investigadores descubrieron que un medicamento antidiarreico común puede tener potencial para tratar las dificultades sociales asociadas con el TEA, según publican en la revista Frontiers in Pharmacology. Utilizaron un modelo informático que engloba las proteínas implicadas en el TEA y la forma en que interactúan.

Al observar cómo afectaban los distintos fármacos a las proteínas del sistema, identificaron posibles candidatos para tratarlo. Un fármaco antidiarreico de uso común, llamado loperamida, fue el candidato más prometedor, y los investigadores tienen una interesante hipótesis sobre cómo podría funcionar para tratar los síntomas del TEA. Algunos de los síntomas más comunes del TEA son las dificultades de interacción social y comunicación.

«No hay ningún medicamento aprobado actualmente para el tratamiento de los déficits de comunicación social, el principal síntoma del TEA», afirma la doctora Elise Koch, de la Universidad de Oslo (Noruega) y autora principal del estudio. «Sin embargo, la mayoría de los adultos y aproximadamente la mitad de los niños y adolescentes con TEA son tratados con fármacos antipsicóticos, que tienen graves efectos secundarios o carecen de eficacia en el TEA».

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