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By Traci Pedersen
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 14, 2010 

A common antibiotic often prescribed to treat adolescent acne has been found to decrease anxiety and also increase attention spans and communication skills in patients with fragile X syndrome, according to a new survey study by the University of California-Davis MIND Institute.

Fragile X is the most commonly inherited type of mental impairment.  One third of all children with this syndrome will develop autism, and about five percent of children with an autism spectrum disorder have fragile X.   Fragile X is estimated to affect 1 in 3,600 males and 1 in 4,000 females.

The syndrome presents itself in a variety of disabilities, from learning disorders to mild to severe intellectual impairment (mental retardation) as well as in emotional and behavioral problems. It may also include certain physical characteristics, such as having larger ears or more flexible finger joints, with symptoms usually more severe in boys.

For the study, a total of 53 participants (three of these dropped out after a few days because of side effects), ranging in age from 4 months to 25 years,  took minocycline between two weeks and 20 months, with dosages of 25 to 200 milligrams per day.  Parents recorded their children’s overall responses to the drug.

After the participants were treated with minocycline for an average of three months, parents reported improvements in the children’s use of language, attention levels and behavior, all while having mostly mild side effects.  Results included the following:   Fifty-four percent reported improvements in language use, 50 percent reported an improvement in attention span, 44 percent reported an improvement in social communication and 30 percent reported a decrease in anxiety levels.   Most parents said their children experienced mild side effects, such as an upset stomach.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/09/14/common-antibiotic-relieves-anxiety-and-boosts-attention-in-fragile-x-syndrome-patients/18070.html

 



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