Can Medications Foster Social Improvement in
Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder?
What can be done to improve the quality of life of ASD patients and their families? Of course, there is no cure at the moment. But, is there something that will make things easier to reduce the anxiety, isolation and fear (of the unfamiliar surroundings and people)?
It has become evident that there may be an imbalance between two key brain hormones – oxytocin (associated with personal warmth and lack of fear) and vasopressin (keeps you distant). As such, it is not possible to boost the effects of oxytocin as of now. However, there are new drugs being discovered and tested that may negate the effects of vasopressin selectively in the brain and allow more oxytocin to become available.
This is easy to say, but hard to prove. Thus, volunteers are needed to test the hypothesis and make certain that new drugs actually work better than placebos (non-active medication). Specifically, we are seeking autistic children between the ages of 5 and 17 to participate in the clinical trial.
About the Study Medication
Northwest Clinical Research Center has the opportunity to evaluate if the medication under study improves social functioning in autistic children. However, this cannot be done without the help of research volunteers. The study medication is hypothesized to increase oxytocin availability by antagonizing the vasopressin receptors in the brain. By reducing levels of vasopressin, available oxytocin levels are activated.
What are the benefits of Study Participation?
By participating in this research study you are potentially helping to develop additional tools that may help with some of the social deficits of autistic children. Study medication and study related medical care is provided at no cost and thorough assessments of autism symptoms take place regularly throughout the study. Financial compensation is available to those who qualify and we are able to assist by providing transportation or reimbursing transportation expenses.