Clinical trial looking for children with Fragile X Syndrome to test treatment using CBD

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Can CBD help certain autism patients?

A local autism research center is hoping to experiment on patients, specifically with Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes intellectual disabilities and other challenges. Fragile X is the most common genetic cause of autism, and a researcher wants to experiment and see the effects of a certain type of CBD gel on young patients ages 3 to 17.

Dr. Raun Melmed is the co-founder of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, and he is hoping to get children diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome to participate in a clinical trial called Connect FX.

"We believe there is a system in the body called the Endocannabinoid System, which is a system of neurotransmitters, and there's something that goes awry in these transmitters for children with Fragile X," said Dr. Melmed. "Were we to change the makeup of those transmitters, we might indeed cause improvements in these individuals. "

The trial involves applying a CBD gel to treat some common behaviors in patients with Fragile X.

"It's actually rubbed onto the children's shoulders," said Dr. Melmed.

Like many other rare diseases, there's currently no FDA-approved drug treatment options for Fragile X. The CBD gel that will be used is different from others, in that it does not directly come from the marijuana plant.

"The CBD that we use is pharmaceutically manufactured under FDA guidance," said Dr. Melmed, who also adds Dr. Melmed adds it also does not contain THC, and is non-euphoric.

Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center