Brief report: Pilot single-blind placebo lead-in study of acamprosate in youth with autistic disorder

Craig A. Erickson, Logan K. Wink, Maureen C. Early, Elizabeth Stiegelmeyer, Lauren Mathieu-Frasier, Vanessa Patrick, Christopher J. McDougle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale: An excitatory/inhibitory (E:I) imbalance marked by enhanced glutamate and deficient gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmission may contribute to the pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Objectives: We report on the first single-blind placebo lead-in trial of acamprosate, a drug with putative mechanisms restoring E:I imbalance, in twelve youth with ASD. Materials and methods: We conducted a 12-week single-blind, placebo lead-in study of acamprosate in youth age 5-17 years with autistic disorder. Results: Six of nine subjects who received active drug treatment were deemed treatment responders (defined by a score at final visit of "very much improved" or "much improved" on the Clinical Global Impressions Improvement scale) and ≥25 % improvement on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist Social Withdrawal subscale. Conclusion: Future larger-scale dose finding studies of acamprosate in ASD may be warranted given this preliminary indication of benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-987
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Acamprosate
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid
  • Glutamate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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    Erickson, C. A., Wink, L. K., Early, M. C., Stiegelmeyer, E., Mathieu-Frasier, L., Patrick, V., & McDougle, C. J. (2014). Brief report: Pilot single-blind placebo lead-in study of acamprosate in youth with autistic disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(4), 981-987. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-013-1943-3