Canna~Fangled Abstracts

Recent Updates in Psychopharmacology for the Core and Associated Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

By October 13, 2021October 14th, 2021No Comments
Review

doi: 10.1007/s11920-021-01292-2.

Affiliations 

Abstract

Purpose of review: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by core deficits in social communication and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. This article aims to review the recent literature pertaining to psychopharmacology for the core and associated symptoms of ASD including social impairment, repetitive behaviors, irritability, and language impairment.

Recent findings: Recent medication trials targeting social impairment in ASD have focused on neuropeptides (oxytocin and vasopressin) and memantine. None of these three medications has demonstrated consistent benefit for social impairment in ASD; however, additional studies are underway. Two double-blind, placebo-controlled studies on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) provide evidence against the use of SSRIs for repetitive behaviors in youth with ASD. Preliminary studies have investigated cannabidiol (CBD) for irritability in ASD but further studies are needed to demonstrate safety and efficacy. Finally, three double-blind, placebo-controlled studies provide preliminary evidence for folinic acid for the treatment of verbal language deficits in children with ASD. The identification of safe and effective pharmacological treatments to ameliorate the core and associated symptoms of ASD has proven difficult.

 

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Irritability, Language impairment, Psychopharmacology, Repetitive behaviors, Social impairment

References

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
    1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th ed. Arlington. VA: APA. 2013.
    1. Reichow B, Hume K, Barton EE, Boyd BA. Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) for young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) [Internet]. Cochrane Database Syst Rev John Wiley and Sons Ltd. 2018 [cited 2021 Jun 13]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29742275/.
    1. Feroe AG, Uppal N, Gutiérrez-Sacristán A, Mousavi S, Greenspun P, Surati R, et al. Medication use in the management of comorbidities among individuals with autism spectrum disorder from a large nationwide insurance database. JAMA Pediatr [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Jun 13]; Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2780352.
    1. Harony-Nicolas H, Kay M, du Hoffmann J, Klein ME, Bozdagi-Gunal O, Riad M, et al. Oxytocin improves behavioral and electrophysiological deficits in a novel Shank3-deficient rat. Elife [Internet]. eLife Sci Public Ltd. 2017 [cited 2021 Jun 11];6. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28139198/.
    1. Kruppa JA, Gossen A, Oberwelland Weib E, Kohls G, Grobheinrich N, Cholemkery H, et al. Neural modulation of social reinforcement learning by intranasal oxytocin in male adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: a randomized trial. NPP [Internet] NPG. 2019 [cited 2021 Jun 10];44:749–56. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30390065/.

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