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J Res Med Sci. 2012 Oct;17(10):985-7.

N-acetylcysteine for treatment of autism, a case report.

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Department of Psychiatry, Research Center for Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Shiraz, Iran ; Department of Psychiatry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shiraz, Iran.


There are a limited number of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications for the treatment of autism. Meanwhile, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are supposed to play a causative role in autism. N-acetylcysteine may provide cystine, a precursor for glutathione (GSH), which is an important antioxidant factor in the brain. We here report a child with autism, whose symptoms were markedly decreased after taking oral N-acetylcysteine 800 mg/day, in three divided doses. His social interaction was significantly increased. The score of social impairment on a visual analog scale decreased from 10 to 6 in the two-month trial. The aggressive behaviors decreased from 10 to 3. This case suggests that N-acetylcysteine may decrease some symptoms of autism.


Autism; children; glutathione; oxidative stress; treatment


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