Advances in Medicine/Prevention for Other Diseases May Be Helpful for Autism

November 02, 2020

Same Biological Pathways Affected, Comorbidities Could Mean Autism Applicability

Three recent developments in treatments and early identification for other brain disorders might have applicability to autism. This is because the biological pathways targeted are found in these other conditions as well as in autism. The scientists or companies working on these interventions are not including autism as a focus area, but hopefully, this will change as more science emerges. In the meantime, the autism community can follow the progress of these possibly exciting discoveries.

ADHD and Prenatal Acetaminophen Exposure

Many people with autism also have a co-occurring diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A new study in JAMA Pediatrics reports that a higher rate of ADHD was found in children exposed prenatally to the pain reliever acetaminophen compared to those not exposed. The authors conclude that “this work suggests caution should be used in administering acetaminophen during pregnancy. Research into alternative pain management strategies for pregnant women could be beneficial.” Besides ADHD, prenatal acetaminophen has been linked to autism risk in other studies 

Original Study

Therapeutic Video Game for ADHD Reduced Symptoms of ADHD

Data from Akili Interactive Labs presented at this month’s American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry annual meeting revealed two-thirds of parents reported real-world improvements in a child’s ADHD-related impairments following two months of treatment with EndeavorRx™. More than a third of children no longer showed attention impairment on at least one measure of objective attention following treatment. Overall 34.5% of children moved into the normative range on at least one measure of attention. Early exploratory evidence showed children who improved in attention functioning following treatment also improved their math and reading skills.

EndeavorRx is the first-and-only prescription treatment delivered through a video game. EndeavorRx was approved by the FDA in June 2020 to treat attentional deficits in children with ADHD. The “digital medicine” presents specific sensory stimuli and simultaneous motor challenges designed to target neural systems in the brain related to attentional control. The company is also looking at autism as a possible target group for the therapy.

Original Story


Original Research

Information about the Game

Autism & Alzheimer’s: Reducing Tau Protein in the Brain

A recent study using two mouse models of autism reports reduced seizures, cognitive deficits and autistic-like behaviors after reducing the level of tau protein in the brain. Excess tau is a hallmark of Alzhheimer’s Disease. Researchers have been finding that similar pathologies impact both Alzheimer’s and autism, and that therapies and drugs developed for Alzheimer’s may have benefits for some with ASD.

Original Article

Original Study

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