An international research group, led by Israeli experts, claimed to have successfully tested a drug for children with autism that was originally developed for Alzheimer's disease.
Tel Aviv University (TAU) disclosed the information on Tuesday, reports Xinhua.
TAU researchers and their colleagues from the Czech Republic, Greece, Belgium and Croatia tested the experimental drug called NAP.
They published their study in the journal Translational Psychiatry.
The drug may help children with ADNP syndrome, one of the 10 most common genetic syndromes on the autism spectrum and characterised by mental impairment.
This syndrome is caused by a mutation in the ADNP gene, leading to a deficiency and malfunctioning of the ADNP protein which is essential for brain development.
The team found NAP effective in treating nerve cells in a model of ADNP syndrome, as damaged nerve-like cells returned to normal function after being treated.
Researchers said the results show that treatment with the experimental drug will aid cognitive improvement in autistic children, and will enhance their memory and learning skills.