Research findings on D-cycloserine
Preliminary conclusions presented at the 50th annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry indicate that D-cycloserine therapy may improve the social avoidance symptoms in children with autism.
"People initially felt that D-cycloserine has a partial effect on the social avoidance of autism, and we followed up with a controlled study," said David Posey, an associate professor of psychiatry at Indiana University.
In this single-blind, 2-week pre-test, 10 children with autism received one dose of D-cycloserine every two weeks for a total of three different doses. The investigators evaluated the patients using the Clinical Total Impression Scale (CGI), the Abnormal Behavioral List (ABC), the Social Response Scale, and the Children's Yale-Brown Forced Force Scale.
It was found that 70% of children's CGI scores were "quite improved" or "very improved" when using the lowest dose of D-cycloserine. The average optimal dose for all patients was 1.8 mg/kg/day. Fifty percent of patients were considered to have continued improvement in social avoidance and repetitive behavior, with the greatest improvement being the sleepiness sub-list in the Abnormal Behavioral Directory, with a 57% reduction in symptom severity. The authors also point out that the three doses are well tolerated for all patients, but further controlled trials are needed.
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