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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Research Progressing…

According to Inserm, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect about 700,000 people in France. These are the neurodevelopmental disorders that are the focus of much research in France and around the world. Recently, Inserm evaluated the latest developments in ASD. explanations.

TSA and research

autism spectrum disorders (ASD) includes a fairly broad group of disorders of neurodevelopment. It begins in early childhood and often continues into adulthood. Over the years, the research has multiplied to answer several key questions:

  • What causes autism and related disorders?
  • Is it a disease in itself? What are the basic mechanisms?
  • Is there one or more forms of autism?
  • How are people with autism identified and treated?

In recent years, significant progress has been made on many issues. However, there are still unknowns and uncertainties to be clarified. Scholars currently focus on three main areas:

  • The closest possible identification to ASD ;
  • Psychological and social care tailored to each patient;
  • Developing new treatment options.

Many promising substances to fight autism, tested without success

So far, no treatment can completely solve it ASD. However, treatment options are being developed to improve the signs of these disorders, namely:

  • Poor social interactions.
  • Oral and nonverbal communication disorders.
  • behavioral problems;
  • Impaired sensory functions.

Care helps relieve these disorders, but also treat associated problems, such as learning disabilities, sleep disturbances, anxiety disorders or even motor deficits. Several clinical studies in recent years have evaluated the benefit of promising new substances, such as palovaptan, bumetanide and oxytocin. Unfortunately, these three substances have not been shown to be effective in relieving autism spectrum disorders.

A future clinical trial on bromide ions?

Researchers do not give up. Based on the latest data regarding the genetic and environmental factors implicated in autism, they propose new materials to study. Among them are bromide ions, a remedy already used in the treatment of epilepsy. A first French study, conducted in three rat models, indicates an interest in bromide ions in the management of ASD.

Autism spectrum disorders and epilepsy have several things in common:

  • ASD patients may also develop epilepsy.
  • Some autism spectrum disorders are associated with a defect in inhibitory nerve connections, such as epilepsy.

Bromide ions can correct the imbalance between excitation and inhibition of neural circuits, thus improving social behaviors while reducing stereotypes. A clinical trial in a small sample of adult patients may soon be conducted to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of bromide ions in ASD. Another step to improve patients’ daily lives, from childhood to adulthood.

Estelle B. Doctor of Pharmacy


Autism spectrum disorders: Where does the research stand? Accessed June 22, 2022.

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