Navigation Links
Drug Shows Some Benefit for Kids With Autism

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental drug for autism did not improve levels of lethargy and social withdrawal in children who took it, but it did show some other benefits, a new study finds.

Children on arbaclofen did improve on an overall measure of autism severity when compared to kids taking an inactive placebo, said lead researcher Dr. Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, an associate professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University.

He is to present the findings Thursday at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) in Spain.

One of 88 children in the United States is now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, the umbrella term for complex brain development disorders marked by problems in social interaction and communication.

Veenstra-VanderWeele focused on evaluating the social improvement with the drug because earlier research had suggested it could help. However, one of the earlier studies did not compare the drug to a placebo, but simply measured improvement in those who took the drug.

In the new study, Veenstra-VanderWeele and his team assigned 150 people with autism, aged 5 to 21, to take the medicine or a placebo, without knowing which group they were in, for eight weeks. The participants had been diagnosed with autistic disorder, Asperger's syndrome or another related condition known as pervasive developmental disorder.

In all, 130 finished the study. When no differences were found in social withdrawal or lethargy between the two groups, the researchers looked at a scale that measures severity and improvement of autism with treatment.

Those on the drug improved more on that scale. A child, for instance, who began the study evaluated as having marked severity might be described as moderate by the study's end, Veenstra-VanderWeele said.

"This is the sort of improvement that would motivate us to start a medicine," he said.

The drug is believed to work, Veenstra-VanderWeele said, by increasing inhibition, improving social functioning and interactions.

Right now, Veenstra-VanderWeele said, "there is no medication that has clear evidence to improve social function in autism."

Those on the drug did report side effects, including suicidal thoughts reported by one patient on the drug and one on the placebo. Some patients on the drug became upset more easily; others reported sleepiness.

The next phase of trials of the drug are in the planning stages, Veenstra-VanderWeele said.

But more research is needed, said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York.

Even though the expected benefit did not materialize, Adesman sees a reason to continue to study the medication. "There is [still] some suggestion of benefit from the medicine," Adesman said. "It just didn't quite show up where they expected."

The drug may offer benefit to some children with autism, Adesman said. "But it's unclear which children may be the best candidates."

The trial received funding from the drug's maker, Seaside Therapeutics. The medication is not currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

To learn more about autism, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, M.D., associate professor, psychiatry, pediatrics and pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.; Andrew Adesman, M.D., chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; May 2, 2013, presentation, International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), San Donostia/San Sebastian, Spain

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Cleveland Clinic research shows Internet-based program effective in reducing stress
2. Foul-smelling gas shows health benefits in reducing joint swelling
3. Yumi Media Comments on a School that Shows Kids a Vegetarian Lifestyle for a Week
4. Battery of tests on cancer cells shows them as squishy, yet tactically strong
5. New Research Shows Programs like Recovery Associates Offer the Most Effective Type of Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
6. UK study shows potential new way to detect colorectal and other cancers
7. Hormone Shows Potential as Diabetes Treatment in Mice
8. Binge eating curbed by deep brain stimulation in animal model, Penn study shows
9. New study shows children routinely injured or killed by guns
10. Research Shows 10-15% Will Need Periodontal Treatment – Act Now, Warn Eludril and Elgydium
11. A New Study Shows Eating Lunch Early Can Let You Lose Weight
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Drug Shows Some Benefit for Kids With Autism
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan ... a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, ... cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes ... titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... The holiday season is jam-packed with family dinners, ... attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you are cooking at home for ... a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes ,     Ingredients: , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... European Union (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, ... (UNON) for the opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals ... in Cleveland, OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring ... year in Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge Major ... at least $15.8  Million to expand its laboratories ... . The expansion will provide additional office ... growing demands of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. ... will provide up to 40,000 square feet of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  ARKRAY USA , Inc., a ... demonstrating the accuracy of its blood glucose meter systems. ... Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Los Angeles ... ® 01 meter and the Assure ® ... to accurately measure glucose levels in blood is essential ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 Kitov ... ) (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the ... various clinical conditions, today announced the closing of its ... Shares ( ADSs ), each representing 20 ordinary shares ... 3,158,900 ADSs. The ADSs and warrants were issued in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: