According to the conclusions of a new scientific study, researchers at the University of Michigan conducted on unsuspecting lab mice, it would appear that a chemical used to treat cancer also has the potential to address learning disabilities in children.
The drug works by preventing the abnormal growth of brain cells called neurons. However, it would seem that administering the anti-cancer medication only produces positive effects if the learning disability is detected very early on, PsychCentral
“The important thing is that we have shown that by treating during this brief window of time early in life, when neural stem cells in a developing brain still have time to ‘decide’ what kind of cell to become, we can cause a lasting effect on neural development,” says team leader Yuan Zhu, PhD.
Additional details of the new investigation, which focused on the experimental MEK inhibitor drug called PD0325901, appear in the latest issue of the esteemed scientific journal Cell.