Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Science & Space

Benzodiazepines found to curb autistic behaviors

See also

Low doses of benzodiazepines were found to curb the majority of autistic behaviors in mice that were engineered to be autistic by Dr. William Catterall of the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues according to their report in the March 19, 2014, edition of the journal Neuron.

The researchers found that very low doses of clonazepam restored the balance between the activity of excitatory neurons and inhibitory neurons in the brain. The imbalance of activity between the two types of neurons is thought to be a major cause of the social deficits, repetitive behavior, and learning deficits seen in autism.

The researchers also demonstrated that reducing the activity of the inhibitory neurons in the brain induced autism-like symptoms in the test animals.

This is the first demonstration of a high level of success in treating autism symptoms by reducing inhibitory neuron activity instead of reducing excitatory neuron activity. Treatment by reducing excitatory neuron activity has seen little success.

This is a treatment for autism symptoms. It is not a cure for autism. Human trials are in progress under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health.

Benzodiazepines can be addictive. The choice of clonazepam, the benzodiazepine that demonstrates the lowest potential for addiction, and the minimal size of the dose used to produce the desired effect should prevent alarm in parents of autistic children and reactionary government officials.



  •  Day 17
    Israel continues their ravaging bombardment on Gaza as the conflict wages on
  • MH17 victims arrive home
    40 bodies of the MH17 plane crash return to a somber homecoming in Holland
    Top News
  • Military advisers to Ukraine
    President Obama announces the deployment of military advisers to Ukraine
  • Bubonic plague in China
    A bubonic plague outbreak in Yumen prompts China to quarantine the city
    World News
  • Air Algierie disappearance
    A flight headed from Burkina Faso to Algeria disappears from radar over Mali
  • Windows Phone training portal
    Microsoft launches Windows Phone training portal in attempt to woo consumers

Related Videos:

  • Buzz Aldrin and the American flag on the moon
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Orbital Sciences rocket brings supplies and experiments to space station
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518318477" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Liftoff Apollo 11
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>