snydeq writes "Rapamycin, a medication doctors prescribe to transplant patients to prevent organ rejection, has been used to reverse learning disorders and mild retardation associated with TSC (tuberous sclerosis complex) in mice. Because the condition is linked to autism, scientists believe the drug may be used to treat learning disabilities and short-term memory deficits in all kinds of autism as well. The scientists chose rapamycin after they realized the drug regulates one of the same proteins that the TSC gene does, just in different parts of the body. 'What was surprising is that we could give rapamycin to adult mice and reverse their condition,' said neurobiologist Alcino Silva of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. 'We did not know ... that this drug would be equally effective for the learning disabilities as it is for tissue rejection.' Rapamycin treatment leveled the playing field between normal and TSC mice in as little as three days."
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