Unraveling the Endocannabinoid System: Exploring Its Therapeutic Potential in Autism Spectrum Disorder

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“The salient features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompass persistent difficulties in social communication, as well as the presence of restricted and repetitive facets of behavior, hobbies, or pursuits, which are often accompanied with cognitive limitations.

Over the past few decades, a sizable number of studies have been conducted to enhance our understanding of the pathophysiology of ASD. Preclinical rat models have proven to be extremely valuable in simulating and analyzing the roles of a wide range of established environmental and genetic factors.

Recent research has also demonstrated the significant involvement of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the pathogenesis of several neuropsychiatric diseases, including ASD. In fact, the ECS has the potential to regulate a multitude of metabolic and cellular pathways associated with autism, including the immune system. Moreover, the ECS has emerged as a promising target for intervention with high predictive validity.

Particularly noteworthy are resent preclinical studies in rodents, which describe the onset of ASD-like symptoms after various genetic or pharmacological interventions targeting the ECS, providing encouraging evidence for further exploration in this area.”



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