The drug minocycline is a tetracycline antibiotic. Previous research using mouse models has indicated that it may have anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic (prevents cell death) properties and may benefit some neurological conditions, including Angelman syndrome. In a research paper published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, scientists discuss their results when they tested this. For more detailed information, you can view the original source study here, on Orphanet’s website.
About Angelman Syndrome
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a rare genetic condition that can cause severe disability. According to Angelman UK, most people with AS are diagnosed as children between the ages of three and seven. Typically, people who have AS have developmental delay, speech impairment, movement and/or balance disorder, and behavioural characteristics such as excitability, frequent laughter/smiling, and a short attention span. People with AS have a normal life expectancy but are likely to need higher levels of support throughout their lives.
About the Study
Following a previous study that had found that eight weeks of treatment with minocycline led to improved scores on measures of communication and fine motor ability in children with AS, researchers decided to further explore the effects of the drug. They carried out a randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial. In total, 32 people aged between six and thirty took part.
Those who took part were randomly assigned to either a group that were given minocycline or a group given placebo for eight weeks. Following this, twenty-two patients were switched to the other treatment, and ten patients received minocycline for up to 16 weeks. All patients were then followed up for eight weeks more.
The researchers did not find a significant improvement in the development indexes of the group that took minocycline for up to sixteen weeks compared to the placebo. However, both treatments appeared to be safe and there were no serious adverse events.
For more detailed information about the study and its results, you can view the original publication here.