Research by Topic: Psychopharmacology

Why Are There So Many Unsubstantiated Treatments in Autism?

Published December 27, 2012 in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders

An estimated 32-92% of parents use complementary/alternative treatments for their children with ASD despite the lack of scientific evidence for the efficacy of these methods. In this article, researchers issue a call for a standardized way to select and evaluate treatments. Barriers to successful treatment, including high costs, limited availability, parental compliance and poor recommendations from professionals are discussed.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S175094671200147X

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New Supplement in Pediatrics: Improving Health Care for Children and Youth With Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Published November 1, 2012 in Pediatrics

Access full articles on interventions, sleep and GI problems, health care coverage and more.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/Supplement_2.toc

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Roche and Seaside Therapeutics Enter Alliance to Develop Pharmacological Treatments for Autism

Published June 19, 2012 in http://www.marketwatch.com/story/roche-seaside-to-research-autism-treatments-2012-06-19?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Roche and Seaside Therapeutics have entered an alliance to develop pharmacological treatments for autism spectrum disorders and Fragile X Syndrome.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/roche-seaside-to-research-autism-treatments-2012-06-19?reflink=MW_news_stmp

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Genetic Architecture in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Published June 1, 2012 in Current Opinion in Genetics and Development

Biological pathways revealed by the deeper list of ASD genes should narrow the targets for therapeutic intervention.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22463983

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Antioxidants For Autism

Published June 1, 2012 in Biological Psychiatry

A specific antioxidant supplement containing N-Acetylcysteine, or NAC may be an effective therapy for some features of autism, according to a pilot trial from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital that involved 31 children with the disorder.

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/antioxidants_autism-90568

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Special Report: New Drugs, Fresh Hope for Autism Patients

Published May 31, 2012 in Reuters

Researchers are conducting advanced trials of the first drugs expressly designed to correct the genetically induced signaling problems in the brain that result in autism. The early indications are positive enough to offer new hope for families and spark interest from drug companies.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/31/us-usa-autism-drugs-idUSBRE84U0II20120531

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New Clinical Study Evaluates First Drug to Show Improvement in Subtype of Autism

Published April 26, 2012 in EurekAlert

In an important test of one of the first drugs to target core symptoms of autism, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine are undertaking a pilot clinical trial to evaluate insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) in children who have SHANK3 deficiency (also known as 22q13 Deletion Syndrome or Phelan-McDermid Syndrome), a known cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

New clinical study evaluates first drug to show improvement in subtype of autism

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Evidence behind autism drugs may be biased: study

Published April 24, 2012 in Reuters

Doctors’ belief that certain antidepressants can help to treat repetitive behaviors in kids with autism may be based on incomplete information, according to a new review of published and unpublished research.

Evidence behind autism drugs may be biased: study

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Clinical trials of new treatments for Fragile X are accepting participants

Published March 22, 2012 in FRAXA Research Foundation

Experimental new drugs, AFQ056 (an mGluR5 antagonist from Novartis) and STX209 (arbaclofen from Seaside Therapeutics) are in large scale trials.

Clinical trials of new treatments for Fragile X are accepting participants

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New Research Might Help Explain How a Gene Mutation Found in some Autistic Individuals Leads to Difficulties in Processing Auditory Cues and Paying Spatial Attention to Sound.

Published February 2, 2012 in Science Daily

New research from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) might help explain how a gene mutation found in some autistic individuals leads to difficulties in processing auditory cues and paying spatial attention to sound.

New research might help explain how a gene mutation found in some autistic individuals leads to difficulties in processing auditory cues and paying spatial attention to sound.

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Study Finds Melatonin Eases Sleep Woes In Children With Autism

Published January 10, 2012 in MedicalXpress

A new Vanderbilt study shows that the over-the-counter supplement melatonin is promising in helping children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and their families, sleep better.

Study Finds Melatonin Eases Sleep Woes In Children With Autism

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Dr. Eric London’s Letter to the Editor of the New York Times

Published January 1, 2012 in New York Times

As a psychiatrist and the parent of an adult son with autism, I found In Treating Disabled, Potent Drugs and Few Rules (front page, Dec. 23) to be unfair and detrimental to the families of the developmentally disabled. Although any medication can be inappropriately administered, the wholesale denigration of psychotropic medication for this population is misplaced.

LETTERS: Care of the Disabled in State-Run Group Homes

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Seizure Damage Reversed In Rats By Inhibitory Drug Targeting Neurologic Pathways

Published December 19, 2011 in Medical News Today

About half of newborns who have seizures go on to have long-term intellectual and memory deficits and cognitive disorders such as autism, but why this occurs has been unknown. In the December 14 Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston detail how early-life seizures disrupt normal brain development, and show in a rat model that it might be possible to reverse this pathology by giving certain drugs soon after the seizure.

Seizure Damage Reversed In Rats By Inhibitory Drug Targeting Neurologic Pathways

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Fetal Exposure to Epilepsy Drug Might Raise Autism Risk: Study

Published December 5, 2011 in US News & World Report

Children exposed to the epilepsy drug valproate have a nearly three times higher risk of having an autism spectrum disorder, new research finds.

Fetal Exposure to Epilepsy Drug Might Raise Autism Risk: Study

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Repetitive behaviors in adults with Autism Spectrum disorders significantly lessen with antidepressant treatment

Published December 5, 2011 in MedicalXpress

Restricted, repetitive behavior, such as compulsive arranging and rigid adherence to routines, is a defining symptom of autism spectrum disorders. A 12-week study showed that the antidepressant fluoxetine produced a greater decrease in repetitive behaviors and more overall improvement than placebo in adults with autism spectrum disorders.

Repetitive behaviors in adults with Autism Spectrum disorders significantly lessen with antidepressant treatment

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Institute For Basic Research in New York seeking adults with Fragile X for New Clinical Trial

Published October 17, 2011 in October 17, 2011

The Institute for Basic Research in Staten Island is seeking adult participants for a new Fragile X treatment trial. This is a large scale trial of AFQ056 from Novartis for people aged 18-45 who have Fragile X. AFQ056 is an mGluR5 antagonist. The current study is just for adults but the next step is to extend the trial to ages 12-17. After completing the 20 week trial, participants will be offered the option of taking this medication free of charge until it comes to market.

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‘Autistic’ mice created and treated

Published October 3, 2011 in New Scientist

A new strain of mice engineered to lack a gene with links to autism displays many of the hallmarks of the condition. It also responds to a drug in the same way as people with autism, which might open the way to new therapies for such people.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20984-autistic-mice-created--and-treated.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

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Autism-Related Study Discovers How Drug Interferes with Neuronal Cell Function

Published July 7, 2011 in Science Daily

This study examined mouse neuronal cells during pregnancy to discover how the drug actually interferes at a molecular level with prostaglandins, which are important for development and communication of cells in the brain.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707112425.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

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Social Bonding in Prairie Voles Helps Guide Search for Autism Treatments

Published April 28, 2011 in Emory Woodruff Health Sciences Center

Researchers at the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience (CTSN) at Emory University are focusing on prairie voles as a new model to screen the effectiveness of drugs to treat autism. They are starting with D-cycloserine, a drug Emory researchers have shown enhances behavioral therapy for phobias and also promotes pair bonding among prairie voles. Giving female voles D-cycloserine, which is thought to facilitate learning and memory, can encourage them to bond with a new male more quickly than usual.

http://shared.web.emory.edu/whsc/news/releases/2011/04/social-bonding-in-prairie-voles-helps-guide-search-for-autism-treatments.html

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Treatment-resistant epilepsy common in idiopathic autism

Published April 19, 2011 in Eurek Alert

A new study found that treatment-resistant epilepsy (TRE) is common in idiopathic autism. Early age at the onset of seizures and delayed global development were associated with a higher frequency of resistance to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Full findings appear online in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/w-tec041411.php

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Treatments Show Promise in Reducing Autism-related Behaviors, but Some have Significant Side Effects

Published April 4, 2011 in Agency for Heathcare Research and Quality

Some medical and behavioral treatments show promise for reducing certain behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), but more research is needed to assess the potential benefits and harms, according to a new report funded by HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The research results were published online in the journal Pediatrics.

http://www.ahrq.gov/news/press/pr2011/autismpr.htm

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A Systematic Review of Medical Treatments for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published April 1, 2011 in Pediatrics, McPheeters et al.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University reviewed evidence regarding medical treatment of children 12 years old and younger with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It was found that risperidone and aripiprazole for treatment of challenging and repetitive behaviors in children with ASDs. However, there are significant adverse effects of these medicines, including severe impairment or risk of […]

American Academy of Pediatrics

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A Systematic Review of Secretin for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Published April 1, 2011 in Pediatrics

Krishnaswami et al. Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that secretin, a medical treatment for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) that was popularized in the 1990s, is ineffective in the treatment of ASDs. Evidence from seven randomized controlled trials suggests that secretin does not effectively treat the symptoms of ASDs, which include language and communication impairment, symptom […]

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/5/e1322.abstract?etoc

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Study Shows Promise For New Drug To Treat Fragile X

Published January 8, 2011 in Science Daily

The first drug to treat the underlying disorder instead of the symptoms of Fragile X, the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability, shows some promise.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/213154.php

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Autism Treatment: Researchers Identify Possible Treatment for Impaired Sociability

Published December 8, 2010 in Science Daily

Eastern Virginia Medical School researchers have identified a potential novel treatment strategy for the social impairment of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), an aspect of the condition that has a profound impact on quality of life.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101208151619.htm

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Neurogenetics Research Sheds Light on the Causes of Neurological Disease

Published October 21, 2010 in Science Daily

The last two decades have seen tremendous progress in understanding the genetic basis of human brain disorders. Research developments in this area have revealed fundamental insights into the genes and molecular pathways that underlie neurological and psychiatric diseases. In a new series of review articles, experts in the field discuss exciting recent advances in neurogenetics research and the potential implications for the treatment of these devastating disorders.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101020121202.htm

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Preventing Life Threatening Breathing Disorder of Rett Syndrome

Published October 5, 2010 in Medical News Today

A group of researchers at the University of Bristol have sequestered the potentially fatal breath holding episodes associated with the autistic-spectrum disorder Rett syndrome. Using a unique combination of drugs, they have discovered that the area of the brain that allows breathing to persist throughout life without interruption has reduced levels of a transmitter substance called aminobutyric acid.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/203458.php

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Minocycline Promising in Fragile X Syndrome

Published September 7, 2010 in Medscape Today

Parents of children with fragile X syndrome report that minocycline led to positive improvements in language, attention levels and behavior. They also report experiencing adverse side effects such as mild gastrointestinal issues and some increased irritability.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/728141?src=emailthis

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Cambridge’s Seaside at Forefront of new approach to Fragile X

Published August 23, 2010 in The Boston Globe

The story of Matthew, a 9-year-old with Fragile X Syndrome, is one of the first patients on one of the first medications ever developed specifically to address the causes of an autism-like disorder. And at least for him it seems to be working.

http://www.boston.com/business/healthcare/articles/2010/08/23/cambridges_seaside_has_new_approach_to_fragile_x/

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Scientists Identify New Drug Strategy Against Fragile X Syndrome

Published August 10, 2010 in Science Daily

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a potential new strategy for treating fragile X syndrome — the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability. The researchers have found that a class of drugs called phosphoinositide-3 (PI3) kinase inhibitors can correct defects in the anatomy of neurons seen in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100810203501.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

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Autism: Lack of Evidence for Antidepressants, Study Concludes

Published August 7, 2010 in Science Daily

Antidepressants commonly prescribed to people with autistic spectrum disorders cannot be recommended based on current evidence, a new study by Cochrane Researchers concludes. Despite some evidence of benefits in adults diagnosed with autism, they say there is no evidence for any benefits associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in children, who may suffer serious adverse effects as a result of taking the drugs.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100808212808.htm

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FDA: Autism Therapy Illegal

Published June 23, 2010 in Los Angeles Times

A product promoted to parents of children with autism is not a harmless dietary supplement, as claimed, but a toxic unapproved drug that lacks adequate warnings about potential side effects, including hair loss and abnormalities of the pancreas, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned in a letter to its maker.

http://www.latimes.com/news/health/sns-health-illegal-autism-therapy,0,747838.story

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Mt. Sinai Identifies First Drug to Demonstrate Therapeutic Effect in a Type of Autism

Published May 20, 2010 in EurekAlert

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a drug that improves communication between nerve cells in a mouse model of Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS). Behavioral symptoms of PMS fall under the autism spectrum disorder category.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-05/tmsh-msi052010.php

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Mutation Could Point Tourette Treatment

Published May 6, 2010 in Wall Street Journal

Researchers identified a rare genetic mutation that may open a new avenue for treating Tourette syndrome in a study published Wednesday that examined a family in which the father and all eight children suffer from the neurological disorder.The family’s mutation affected a gene required to produce histamine. Pharmaceutical companies are already developing drugs for other conditions that target the brain’s histamine system. The study’s researchers are planning a clinical trial of adults with Tourette to see if those drugs would help control the motor and vocal tics that characterize the condition.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703322204575226580319129398.html

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Moderators, Mediators,and Other Predictors of Risperidone Response in Children with Autistic Disorder and Irritability

Published April 1, 2010 in Journal of Childhood and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Arnold et al

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP) Autism Network found an effect size of d = 1.2 in favor of risperidone on the main outcome measure in an 8-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial for irritability in autistic disorder. This paper explores moderators and mediators of this effect. This study found […]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20415603

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Autism and Schizophrenia: Research Builds on Genetic Link

Published February 24, 2010 in Medical News Today

A genetic link between schizophrenia and autism is enabling researchers to study the effectiveness of drugs used to treat both illnesses. Dr. Steve Clapcote from the University of Leeds’s Faculty of Biological Sciences will be analyzing behavior displayed by mice with a genetic mutation linked to schizophrenia and autism and seeing how antipsychotic drugs affect their behavioral abnormalities.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/180115.php

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Gene Mutation is Linked to Autism-Like Symptoms in Mice, Reseachers Find

Published February 24, 2010 in Science Daily

When a gene implicated in human autism is disabled in mice, the rodents show learning problems and obsessive, repetitive behaviors, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. The researchers also report that a drug affecting a specific type of nerve function reduced the obsessive behavior in the animals, suggesting a potential way to treat repetitive behaviors in humans

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100223174547.htm

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Oxytocin Improves Social Behavior of Patients, French Study Finds

Published February 17, 2010 in Science Daily

Autism is a disease characterized by difficulties in communicating effectively with other people and developing social relationships. A team led by Angela Sirigu at the Centre de Neuroscience Cognitive (CNRS) has shown that the inhalation of oxytocin, a hormone known to promote mother-infant bonds and social relationships, significantly improved the abilities of autistic patients to interact with other individuals.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216221350.htm

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OSR#1: Industrial Chemical or Autism Treatment?

Published January 17, 2010 in Chicago Tribune

An industrial chemical developed to help separate heavy metals from polluted soil and mining drainage is being sold as a dietary supplement by a luminary in the world of alternative autism treatments. Called OSR#1, the supplement is described on its Web site as an antioxidant not meant to treat any disease. But the site lists pharmacies and doctors who sell it to parents of children with autism, and the compound has been promoted to parents on popular autism Web sites. A search of medical journals unearthed no papers published about OSR#1, though the compound’s industrial uses have been explored in publications such as the Journal of Hazardous Materials.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-autism-chemicaljan17,0,3036818,full.story

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FDA Approves Abilify for Autism-Linked Irritability

Published November 20, 2009 in Associated Press

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/11/20/business-health-care-us-abilify-fda_7147257.html

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Lack of Efficacy of Citalopram in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and High Levels of Repetitive Behavior

Published June 1, 2009 in Archives of General Psychiatry, King, Hollander, Sikich, McCracken, Scahill, Bregman, Donnelly, Anagnostou, Dukes, Sullivan, Hirtz, Wagner, Louise Ritz; for the STAART Psychopharmacology Network

Citalopram (Celexa), a medication commonly prescribed to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), was no more effective than a placebo at reducing repetitive behaviors, according to a multi-site clinical trial guided by lead author Bryan King, MD, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Seattle Children's Hospital and professor and vice chair of psychiatry at […]

http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/66/6/583

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Partial reversal of Rett Syndrome-like symptoms in MeCP2 mutant mice

Published February 1, 2009 in PNAS, Sur, Tropea, Giacometti, et al.

Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a severe form of X-linked mental retardation caused by mutations in the gene coding for methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). Mice deficient in MeCP2 have a range of physiological and neurological abnormalities that mimic the human syndrome. Here we show that systemic treatment of MeCP2 mutant mice with an active peptide […]

http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/2029.short

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Neuropsychological performance 10 years after immunization in infancy with thimerosal-containing vaccines

Published January 1, 2009 in Pediatrics, Tozzi AE, Bisiacchi P, Tarantino V, De Mei B, D'Elia L, Chariotti F, Salmaso S.

Thimerosal, a mercury compound used as a preservative in vaccines administered during infancy, has been suspected to affect neuropsychological development. We compared the neuropsychological performance, 10 years after vaccination, of 2 groups of children exposed randomly to different amounts of thimerosal through immunization. Children who were enrolled in an efficacy trial of pertussis vaccines in […]

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/123/2/475?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=neuropsychological+performance&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT

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