Anti-tumour medication could be used to protect the developing brains of young children with genetic diseases that cause abnormal cell growth or learning disabilities.
Researchers tested newborn mice with two copies of the genetic mutation in their neural stem cells. Half of the mice an experimental drug that has already been used in clinical trials for advanced cancer.
Mice that received the drug from birth developed normally. The other mice had abnormal growth of their bodies and brain cells.
The findings are expected to influence future treatments for patients with other genetic conditions that affect the same general cell-signalling pathway.