New research has found that a growth hormone can significantly improve the social impairment associated with autism spectrum disorder in patients with a related genetic syndrome.

The pilot study, conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, focused on the use of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) to treat Phelan-McDermid syndrome (PMS), a disorder caused by a deletion or mutation of the SHANK3 gene on chromosome 22.

Along with facing developmental and language delays and motor skill deficits, most people with PMS also have autism spectrum disorder, according to the researchers.

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