Psychopharmacology

Scientists Identify New Drug Strategy Against Fragile X Syndrome

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
August 10, 2010
Abstract: 

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a potential new strategy for treating fragile X syndrome -- the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability. The researchers have found that a class of drugs called phosphoinositide-3 (PI3) kinase inhibitors can correct defects in the anatomy of neurons seen in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

Autism: Lack of Evidence for Antidepressants, Study Concludes

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
August 7, 2010
Abstract: 

Antidepressants commonly prescribed to people with autistic spectrum disorders cannot be recommended based on current evidence, a new study by Cochrane Researchers concludes. Despite some evidence of benefits in adults diagnosed with autism, they say there is no evidence for any benefits associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in children, who may suffer serious adverse effects as a result of taking the drugs.

FDA: Autism Therapy Illegal

Source: 
Los Angeles Times
Date Published: 
June 23, 2010
Abstract: 

A product promoted to parents of children with autism is not a harmless dietary supplement, as claimed, but a toxic unapproved drug that lacks adequate warnings about potential side effects, including hair loss and abnormalities of the pancreas, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned in a letter to its maker.

Mt. Sinai Identifies First Drug to Demonstrate Therapeutic Effect in a Type of Autism

Source: 
EurekAlert
Date Published: 
May 20, 2010
Abstract: 

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified a drug that improves communication between nerve cells in a mouse model of Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS). Behavioral symptoms of PMS fall under the autism spectrum disorder category.

Mutation Could Point Tourette Treatment

Source: 
Wall Street Journal
Date Published: 
May 6, 2010
Abstract: 

Researchers identified a rare genetic mutation that may open a new avenue for treating Tourette syndrome in a study published Wednesday that examined a family in which the father and all eight children suffer from the neurological disorder.

The family's mutation affected a gene required to produce histamine. Pharmaceutical companies are already developing drugs for other conditions that target the brain's histamine system. The study's researchers are planning a clinical trial of adults with Tourette to see if those drugs would help control the motor and vocal tics that characterize the condition.

Moderators, Mediators,and Other Predictors of Risperidone Response in Children with Autistic Disorder and Irritability

Source: 
Journal of Childhood and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Arnold et al
Date Published: 
April 2010
Year Published: 
2010

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP) Autism Network found an effect size of d = 1.2 in favor of risperidone on the main outcome measure in an 8-week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial for irritability in autistic disorder. This paper explores moderators and mediators of this effect.  This study found the benefit-risk ratio of risperidone is better with greater symptom severity. Risperidone can be individually titrated to optimal dosage for excellent response in the majority of children. Weight gain is not necessary for risperidone benefit and may even detract from it. Socioeconomic advantage, low prolactin, and absence of co-morbid problems nonspecifically predict better outcome. Mineral interactions with risperidone deserve further study.

Autism and Schizophrenia: Research Builds on Genetic Link

Source: 
Medical News Today
Date Published: 
February 24, 2010
Abstract: 

A genetic link between schizophrenia and autism is enabling researchers to study the effectiveness of drugs used to treat both illnesses. Dr. Steve Clapcote from the University of Leeds's Faculty of Biological Sciences will be analyzing behavior displayed by mice with a genetic mutation linked to schizophrenia and autism and seeing how antipsychotic drugs affect their behavioral abnormalities.

Gene Mutation is Linked to Autism-Like Symptoms in Mice, Reseachers Find

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
February 24, 2010
Abstract: 

When a gene implicated in human autism is disabled in mice, the rodents show learning problems and obsessive, repetitive behaviors, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. The researchers also report that a drug affecting a specific type of nerve function reduced the obsessive behavior in the animals, suggesting a potential way to treat repetitive behaviors in humans

Oxytocin Improves Social Behavior of Patients, French Study Finds

Source: 
Science Daily
Date Published: 
February 17, 2010
Abstract: 

Autism is a disease characterized by difficulties in communicating effectively with other people and developing social relationships. A team led by Angela Sirigu at the Centre de Neuroscience Cognitive (CNRS) has shown that the inhalation of oxytocin, a hormone known to promote mother-infant bonds and social relationships, significantly improved the abilities of autistic patients to interact with other individuals.

OSR#1: Industrial Chemical or Autism Treatment?

Source: 
Chicago Tribune
Date Published: 
January 17, 2010
Abstract: 

An industrial chemical developed to help separate heavy metals from polluted soil and mining drainage is being sold as a dietary supplement by a luminary in the world of alternative autism treatments. Called OSR#1, the supplement is described on its Web site as an antioxidant not meant to treat any disease. But the site lists pharmacies and doctors who sell it to parents of children with autism, and the compound has been promoted to parents on popular autism Web sites. A search of medical journals unearthed no papers published about OSR#1, though the compound's industrial uses have been explored in publications such as the Journal of Hazardous Materials.