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Targeting the neurobiology of restricted and repetitive behaviors in children with autism using N-acetylcysteine: a single-dose challenge study

January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2022

Stanford’s Autism Research Program is conducting a study with the goal to examine the treatment effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an over-the-counter dietary supplement, on the brain circuits that underlie some restricted and repetitive behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder.

What are the goals of the study?

The goal of this study is to target the neurobiology of restricted and repetitive behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder using N- acetylcysteine (NAC), a well-tolerated nutritional supplement that has shown promise for reducing symptom severity in recent small-scale trials. The findings from this research will shed light on the mechanisms of action underlying the clinical benefits of NAC.

What will happen during the visit or online?

Participants will complete cognitive and behavioral assessments (such as IQ testing). Either sleep (young children) or learn to lie still for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and wear an electroencephalography (EEG) cap.

How will this help families?

We hope the findings from this study will help support the development of new drug treatments for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Eligibility Criteria

Diagnosed with Autism
aged between 3 and 12
Exhibit restricted and repetitive behaviors
Willing to drink NAC dissolved in water

View the study flyer here.

Contact Information
Research Study Website
Autism & Developmental Disorders Research Program, Stanford Medicine

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