Health/Medical
9:07 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Creighton researcher studying the role of a protein in the development of autism

A Creighton University pharmacology professor will spend the next two years studying the role of a protein in the development of autism.

Dr. Shashank Dravid got the $400,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health. He’ll be studying a protein called glutamate delta-1 receptor.

Dr. Dravid says previous studies have shown there might be a connection between the gene that expresses that protein, and autism spectrum disorders.

He'll also be studying a drug used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and autism, to test it in this model.

Dr. Dravid says it isn’t a single protein, but likely small contributions from many proteins in the brain that trigger autism spectrum disorders. He says the long-term goals are to learn more about the glutamate delta-1 receptor, and what treatments can work on it.