Psychopharmacology

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

Source: 
Agency for Heathcare Research and Quality
Date Published: 
April 4, 2011
Abstract: 

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.

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

Source: 
Pediatrics, McPheeters et al.
Date Published: 
April 2011
Year Published: 
2011

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 injury, preventing their wider use. There is currently little evidence present to evaluate the use of other medical treatments for ASDs—neither their positive nor their negative effects.

A Systematic Review of Secretin for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Pediatrics
Date Published: 
April 2011
Year Published: 
2011

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 severity, and cognitive and social deficits. Furthermore, no study conducted has found significant improvement in terms of language, cognition, or autistic symptoms when compared with placebo. The Vanderbilt researchers conclude that secretin does not have clear benefit. Additionally, since there is significant evidence of lack of impact in treating ASDs, they believe that further secretin studies should not be conducted.

Study Shows Promise For New Drug To Treat Fragile X

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
January 8, 2011
Abstract: 

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.

Autism Treatment: Researchers Identify Possible Treatment for Impaired Sociability

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
December 8, 2010
Abstract: 

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.

Neurogenetics Research Sheds Light on the Causes of Neurological Disease

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
October 21, 2010
Abstract: 

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.

Preventing Life Threatening Breathing Disorder of Rett Syndrome

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
October 5, 2010
Abstract: 

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.

Seaside Therapeutics Reports Positive Data from Phase 2 Study of STX209 in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Source: 
Seaside Therapeutics
Date Published: 
September 9, 2010
Abstract: 

Seaside Therapeutics reported findings on STX209 at the 42nd Autism Society National Conference. STX209 is a selective gamma-amino butyric acid type B (GABA-B) receptor agonist being studied for the treatment of ASD and fragile X syndrome (FXS).

As previously reported, STX209 demonstrated statistically significant improvements across a number of global and specific neurobehavioral outcomes in the open-label Phase 2a study, including significant improvements in social impairment—a core symptom of ASD.

Minocycline Promising in Fragile X Syndrome

Source: 
Medscape Today
Date Published: 
September 7, 2010
Abstract: 

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.

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

Source: 
The Boston Globe
Date Published: 
August 23, 2010
Abstract: 

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.