MDXX drugs: A promising new therapy for autism spectrum disorder

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A new review in the peer-reviewed journal Psychedelic Medicine describes the complex pharmacology of methylenedioxy amphetamine analogs, or MDXX drugs, and how they may help treat autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

There are no approved pharmacotherapeutics for global symptoms of ASD. Drugs that have pro-social effects, such as MDMA and its analogues, may be beneficial in treating the social anxiety and social avoidance that are major complications of ASD.

In the article titled "Balancing Therapeutic Efficacy and Safety of MDMA and Novel MDXX Analogues As Novel Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder," William Fantegrossi, PhD, from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, and coauthors, discuss the roles of various drug-binding sites, metabolic enzymes, and chemical structure-activity relationships that mediate these substances' pharmacological and toxicological effects.

The investigators concluded that "the MDXX drugs represent a fruitful chemical space for developing clinically effective and relatively safer molecules and formulations for treating ASD."

Journal reference:

Kaur, H., et al. (2023) Balancing Therapeutic Efficacy and Safety of MDMA and Novel MDXX Analogues as Novel Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Psychedelic Medicine.


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