A small, randomized clinical trial at UC San Diego School of Medicine found that a single intravenous dose of a century-old drug called suramin produced measurable, but transient, improvement of core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). But more broadly, the trial findings support the “Cell Danger Response theory,” which posits that autism and other chronic conditions are fundamentally driven by metabolic dysfunction—and thus treatable. This whiteboard animation explains Cell Danger Response in autistic neurons before and after suramin treatment.

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