Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Feb 15;61(4):521-37.

Early pharmacological treatment of autism: a rationale for developmental treatment.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.

Erratum in

  • Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Mar 15;61(6):826.

Abstract

Autism is a dynamic neurodevelopmental syndrome in which disabilities emerge during the first three postnatal years and continue to evolve with ongoing development. We briefly review research in autism describing subtle changes in molecules important in brain development and neurotransmission, in morphology of specific neurons, brain connections, and in brain size. We then provide a general schema of how these processes may interact with particular emphasis on neurotransmission. In this context, we present a rationale for utilizing pharmacologic treatments aimed at modifying key neurodevelopmental processes in young children with autism. Early treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is presented as a model for pharmacologic interventions because there is evidence in autistic children for reduced brain serotonin synthesis during periods of peak synaptogenesis; serotonin is known to enhance synapse refinement; and exploratory studies with these agents in autistic children exist. Additional hypothetical developmental interventions and relevant published clinical data are described. Finally, we discuss the importance of exploring early pharmacologic interventions within multiple experimental settings in order to develop effective treatments as quickly as possible while minimizing risks.

PMID:
17276749
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2553755
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk