Positive results from a small drug trial suggest that medication to treat the core symptoms of fragile X, and potentially autism, could be on the way.

In an interview with The New York Times, officials at the Swiss drug maker Novartis say they saw improvements in socialization, speech, hyperactivity and repetitive behaviors in adults with fragile X who took part in a study conducted by the company.

Participants in the research, which wrapped up this year, received either the experimental drug or a placebo for a few weeks and then switched drugs, unaware of which was which. The study did not extend long enough to measure the drug’s effects on intelligence, Novartis officials said.

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Experts caution that the study included only a few dozen people and the drug would need to undergo further clinical trials before it could be brought to market. What’s more, despite the success, the drug did not produce positive results in everyone who used it.

Nonetheless, researchers are optimistic. Fragile X is the most common form of inherited intellectual disability and it has long been thought to be the key to treating autism since its genetic basis is already understood. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of autism cases stem from fragile X or another established genetic cause, reports The New York Times. To read more click here.