Hope on the Horizon: Promising New Treatments for Autism

Hope on the horizon: Promising new therapies and treatments for autism

A drug for social impairment: Arbaclofen, a medication used for more than 30 years to treat muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other conditions, has shown promising results in treating repetitive behaviours and impaired social and communication abilities. The Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has participated in a national clinical trial using arbaclofen, and describes the drug as “the first medicine of its kind being given to treat ASDs.” The trial found significant improvement in social functioning and reductions in avoidance and problem behaviours in participants with severe social impairment. Because forms of this drug have been used for decades, fewer safety concerns accompany its use than with a new drug. Additional information can be obtained by going the Children’s hospital of Philadelphia.