A blockbuster MIT study provides new evidence of a genetic link for both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism — a possible breakthrough researchers say could lead to the use of cutting-edge gene therapy treatments for behavioral and developmental syndromes in the future.
“One of the long-term goals is gene therapy where we can actually introduce genetic material that might be missing from the human,” said Michael F. Wells, a post-doctoral associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University. “What’s exciting is that this is now a possibility, when it was pretty much science fiction 10 or 15 years ago.”
Gene therapy is an experimental technique used to treat diseases including cancer, ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. But disorders such as ADHD and autism have not been part of that discussion.