Confirmation of the anti-autistic effect of loperamide, a laxative ingredient

Loperamide, a mu-type opioid receptor agonist, an antidiarrheal ingredient that prevents diarrhea, has been confirmed to have the potential to treat social communication disorders, a major symptom of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Dr Elisse Kochi, University of Oslo, Norway and Dr. Dite Demontis, Aarhus University, Denmark, ASD-related gene network to compare gene expression changes in the ASD network with drugs, and was published in Frontiers in Pharmacology.

According to the study, four drugs, loperamide, bromocriptine, drospirenone, and progesterone, were suggested as drugs that could improve the symptoms of ASD.

There are no approved drugs for social communication disorders in ASD, but psychotropic drugs such as antipsychotics, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) drugs, and antidepressants are often given to prevent other symptoms. However, these drugs have serious side effects and many restrictions on their use follow.

The research team reviewed whether existing drugs whose safety was confirmed in the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analysis produced by ASD-related genes could be used as an ASD treatment.

The study subjects were 149 ASD risk genes from the genome-wide ASD study of 18,000 ASD patients and 27,000 control subjects, and an ASD genome analysis of a total of 35,584 people including approximately 12,000 candidate ASD patients. you noted.

Of these, 147 were involved in an interaction (interaction network) of 17,706 human proteins and 346,330 PPIs. Then, through network analysis, these 147 ASD genes and the 176 genes that were close to the network were identified, and a total of 323 bilaterally combined genes were networked with ASD.

As a result of reviewing the drug-drug gene interaction database, interactions between 177 existing drugs and 60 genes in the ASD network were identified.

As a result of the analysis, among these drugs, there was a significant inverse relationship between drug-induced gene expression and ASD in four drugs: loperamide, an anti-diarrheal component, bromocriptine, a dopamine D receptor agonist, a prolactin-related treatment, and drospirenone and progesterone contraception

In other words, it was confirmed that these four drugs can reverse gene expression caused by ASD and can be used to treat social communication disorders, which are the core symptoms of ASD.

Among these drugs, the research team predicted that loperamide, widely used as an anti-diarrheal agent, has no central nervous system side effects when administered for a short period of time and has the potential to have a positive effect on digestive tract symptoms often seen in ASD Patients.

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