Navigation Links
New treatment for irritability in autism
Date:5/31/2012

Philadelphia, PA, May 31, 2012 Autism is a developmental disorder that affects social and communication skills. Irritability is a symptom of autism that can complicate adjustment at home and other settings, and can manifest itself in aggression, tantrums, and self-injurious behavior. These disruptive behaviors are frequently observed in children with autism, which may considerably affect their ability to function at home or in school.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdoses, but it may have other applications related to its effects in the brain. NAC helps maintain and restore glutathione, which play a key role in the antioxidant defense system. Additionally, cysteine as supplied by NAC treatment, stimulates a protein, the cystine-glutamate antiporter, resulting in the decrease of glutamatergic neurotransmission. NAC has two resulting effects: 1) it may protect brain cells by raising the level of a protective antioxidant metabolite called glutathione, and 2) it may reduce the excitability of the glutamate system by stimulating inhibitory receptors.

These drug actions are important because, although the causes of autism are unknown, it is clear that there are many influencing factors and scientists are pursuing multiple hypotheses. Two in particular relate to NAC: one theory is that autism may be caused by an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in the body; the other is that the glutamate system may be dysfunctional in individuals with autism.

These hypotheses led researchers at Stanford University and the Cleveland Clinic to conduct a pilot trial of NAC in children with autistic disorder. Children were randomized to receive either NAC or placebo daily for 12 weeks and their symptoms were evaluated four times during that period.

They found that irritability was significantly decreased in the children who received NAC. In addition, NAC was well-tolerated and caused minimal side effects.

Lead author Dr. Antonio Hardan commented, "Data from this preliminary trial suggest that NAC has the potential to be helpful in targeting irritability in children with autism. It is also unclear if NAC improves other symptom domains in autism."

"At this point it is too early to tell how NAC reduced irritability in autism, but this finding will be an important addition to the field if it can be replicated," said Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, where the study is being published.

Dr. Hardan agreed, adding that "large randomized controlled trials are needed to attempt to replicate the findings from this pilot trial and to determine whether or not NAC is effective in targeting other symptoms observed in autism such as repetitive and restricted interests." This small pilot study was the first step and so the next stages of work can now begin to determine whether NAC could potentially become an approved treatment for autism.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
biol.psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. The effect of treatment with antibiotics and vaccination against Q fever in sheep
2. Purdue professor to speak before Congress about nanotechnology in brain treatment research
3. Novel discovery by NUS scientists paves the way for more effective treatment of cancers
4. Discovery of mechanisms predicting response to new treatments in colon cancer
5. UH Case Medical Center, CardioKinetix reveal promising data for treatment for heart failure
6. Scripps Florida scientists awarded $8.4 million grant to develop new anti-smoking treatments
7. Scientists discover new type of cell with a key role in treatment-resistant asthma
8. From urban climate research to the treatment of incontinence
9. Sloppy shipping of human retina leads IU researchers to discover new treatment path for eye disease
10. Beehive extract shows potential as prostate cancer treatment
11. Geneticist develops tool to identify genes important in disease, tailoring individual treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is ... of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Optimove ... used by retailers such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, ... — Product Recommendations and Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning ... personalized product and replenishment recommendations to their customers ... on predictions of customer intent drawn from a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Vortex Biosciences , provider ... isolation of prostate circulating tumor cells using Vortex microfluidic technology ” in Nature Precision ... collaboration with Dr. Dino Di Carlo and Dr. Matthew Rettig at the University of ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... forces machine manufacturers to re-engineer their control technology again and again. METTLER TOLEDO ... problem for machine manufacturers. The videos illustrate how integration of the ACT350 into ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 20, 2017 , ... CNSDose is a genetically driven, ... process by finding the right antidepressant faster. CNSDose speeds recovery and reduces ... a personalized approach to treatment. , A peer-reviewed and published, 12-week ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... ... Clinical Supplies Management (“CSM”), a Great Point Partners II (“GPP”) portfolio company, ... has doubled in size over the past six months with the acquisition of businesses ... joins CSM as Chief Financial Officer. Roger has over 25 years of experience ...
Breaking Biology Technology: