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Front Neurosci. 2016 Sep 30;10:450. eCollection 2016.

Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 and Related Compounds in the Treatment of Childhood-Onset Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

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School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin Dublin, Ireland.
Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin Dublin, Ireland.


Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) is a neurotrophic polypeptide with crucial roles to play in Central Nervous System (CNS) growth, development and maturation. Following interrogation of the neurobiology underlying several neurodevelopmental disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), both recombinant IGF-1 (mecasermin) and related derivatives, such as (1-3)IGF-1, have emerged as potential therapeutic approaches. Clinical pilot studies and early reports have supported the safety/preliminary efficacy of IGF-1 and related compounds in the treatment of Rett Syndrome, with evidence mounting for its use in Phelan McDermid Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome. In ASD, clinical trials are ongoing. Here, we review the role of IGF-1 in the molecular etiologies of these conditions in addition to the accumulating evidence from early clinical studies highlighting the possibility of IGF-1 and related compounds as potential treatments for these childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorders.


Fragile X Syndrome; IGF-1; Phelan-Mcdermid Syndrome; Rett Syndrome; autism spectrum disorders

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