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Health Condition

Autism

About This Condition

Autism is a developmental disorder of the brain that appears in early childhood. The condition causes impairment of social interaction and communication, as well as unusual behaviors.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary but are characterized by a difficulty in relating to people, objects, and events. Communication problems may be present, such as a lack of eye contact or response when their name is called; fixation on specific subjects or toys; difficulty with changes to routine or surroundings; and repetitive body movements, such as head banging or hand flapping.

Other Therapies

There is no established treatment for autism. Medications, such as antidepressants, stimulants, and antipsychotics are used to manage the symptoms of associated disorders, which include attention deficit, hyperactivity, obsessions, compulsions, tics, irritability, seizures, and depression.

Behavioral modification therapy may help parents more easily manage a child with severe impairment. Psychotherapy, special education, and speech therapy may also be recommended depending on the child.

References

1. Lelord G, Muh JP, Barthelemy C, et al. Effects of pyridoxine and magnesium on autistic symptoms: Initial observations. J Autism Developmental Disorders 1981;11:219-29.

2. Martineau J, Garreau B, Barthelemy C, et al. Effects of vitamin B6 on averaged evoked potentials in infantile autism. Biol Psychiatr 1981;16:627-39.

3. Rimland B, Callaway E, Dreyfus P. The effect of high doses of vitamin B6 on autistic children: a double-blind crossover study. Am J Psychiatr 1978;135:472-5.

4. Rimland B. Vitamin B6 versus Fenfluramine: a case-study in medical bias. J Nutr Med 1991;2:321-2.

5. Danczak E. Glucosamine and plant lectins in autistic spectrum disorders: an initial report on 6 children with uncontrolled diarrhoea. J Nutr Environ Med2004;14:327-330.

6. Geier DA, Kern JK, Davis G, et al. A prospective double-blind, randomized clinical trial of levocarnitine to treat autism spectrum disorders. Med Sci Monit 2011;17:PI15-23.

7. Hardan AY, Fung LK, Libove RA, et al. A randomized controlled pilot trial of oral N-acetylcysteine in children with autism. Biol Psychiatry 2012;71:956-61.

8. Nikoo M, Radnia H, Farokhnia M, et al. N-acetylcysteine as an adjunctive therapy to risperidone for treatment of irritability in autism: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of efficacy and safety. Clin Neuropharmacol 2015;38:11–17.

9. Wink LK, Adams R, Wang Z, et al. A randomized placebo-controlled pilot study of N-acetylcysteine in youth with autism spectrum disorder. Mol Autism 2016;7:26.

10. Dolske MC, Spollen J, McKay S, et al. A preliminary trial of ascorbic acid as supplemental therapy for autism. Prog Neuropsycholpharmacol Biol Psychiatry 1993;17:765-74.

11. Saad K, Abdel-Rahman AA, Elserogy YM, et al. Randomized controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation in children with autism spectrum disorder. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2016 Nov 21 [Epub ahead of print].

12. Martineau J, Barthelemy C, Garreau B, Lelord G. Vitamin B6, magnesium, and combined B6-Mg: therapeutic effects in childhood autism. Biol Psychiatr 1985;20:467-78.

13. Mousain-Bosc M, Roche M, Polge A, et al. Improvement of neurobehavioral disorders in children supplemented with magnesium-vitamin B6. II. Pervasive developmental disorder-autism. Magnes Res 2006;19:53-62.

14. Reichelt K-L, Ekrem J, Scott H. Gluten, milk proteins and autism: dietary intervention effects on behavior and peptide section. J Appl Nutr 1990;42:1-11.

15. Werbach M. Autism. Int J Alternative Complementary Med 1996;Oct:8.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.

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