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A promising clinical trial to reduce the severity of autistic disorders
Date:12/12/2012

n suffering from autism because their parents say they become more agitated as a result, suggesting that, as in epilepsy and other brain pathologies, their intracellular chloride concentration is increased. This encounter led to the idea of testing a diuretic in the same way as for epilepsy to determine whether this could alleviate autistic disorders. A pilot study in 5 children was rapidly set up in 2010 because bumetanide, the diuretic tested, is in common use, particularly in treating high blood pressure. The taking of these molecules can, however, lower the potassium level, meaning that a potassium supplement is required. The researchers then began a randomised double-blind clinical trial in 60 children between 3 and 11 years old with autism or Asperger's syndrome.

Reduction in the severity of autistic disorders

The children were monitored for 4 months. One group was treated with the diuretic (1 mg of bumetanide) while a placebo was administered to the second group for 3 months. No treatment was administered in the final month. The severity of the children's autistic disorders was rated at the beginning of the test, the end of the treatment, i.e. after 90 days and one month after the test ended.

After 90 days of treatment, the mean CARS (Childhood Autism Rating Scale) test score of the children treated with bumetanide had significantly improved. The severity of the treated group's autistic disorders shifted from high (> 36.5) to medium (< 36.5). No significant difference was observed in the score of the group treated with the placebo, however. In total, the clinical diagnosis of 77% of the children who received the treatment improved in the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) test. When the treatment was terminated, some disorders reappeared. The treatment with bumetanide is therefore reversible.

Various criteria for assessing the severity of disorders: CARS, CGI and ADOS G

The widely-applied Childhood Auti
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Contact: Press Office
presse@inserm.fr
INSERM (Institut national de la sant et de la recherche mdicale)
Source:Eurekalert

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