Psychopharmacology of autism spectrum disorders.

Department of Psychiatry, Hoboken University Medical Center, 308 Willow Avenue, Hoboken, NJ 07030, USA.
Pediatric Clinics of North America (Impact Factor: 2.2). 02/2012; 59(1):175-87, xii. DOI: 10.1016/j.pcl.2011.10.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT At present, no evidence-based effective pharmacologic options are available for treating the core deficits of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), which are best addressed by behavioral and educational interventions. However, such evidence exists for several of the frequently associated/comorbid symptoms such as aggression and severe irritability, hyperactivity, and repetitive behaviors, which can become a major source of additional distress and interference in functioning. This article offers information on the psychopharmacology of ASD that is current, relevant, and organized in a user-friendly manner, to form a concise but informative reference guide for primary pediatric clinicians.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Several behavioral interventions, based on social enrichment and observational learning are applied in treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the mechanism of such modulatory effect and the safety of applied methods on individuals involved in social support need further investigation. We took advantage of known differences between inbred mouse strains to reveal the effect of social enrichment on behavior and neurobiology of animals with different behavioral phenotypes. C57BL/6 and DBA/2 female mice displaying multiple differences in cognitive, social, and emotional behavior were group-housed either in same-strain or in mixed-strain conditions. Comprehensive behavioral phenotyping and analysis of expression of several plasticity- and stress-related genes were done to measure the reciprocal effects of social interaction between the strains. Contrary to our expectation, mixed housing did not change the behavior of DBA/2 mice. Nevertheless, the level of serum corticosterone and the expression of glucocorticoid receptor Nr3c1 in the brain were increased in mixed housed DBA/2 as compared with those of separately housed DBA/2 mice. In contrast, socially active C57BL/6 animals were more sensitive to the mixed housing, displaying several signs of stress: alterations in learning, social, and anxiety-like behavior and anhedonia. These behavioral impairments were accompanied by the elevated serum corticosterone and the reduced expression of Nr3c1, as well as the elevated Bdnf levels in the cortex and hippocampus. Our results demonstrate the importance of social factors in modulation of both behavior and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms in stress response, and draw attention to the potential negative impact of social interventions for individuals involved in social support.
    Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 08/2014; 8:257. · 4.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives : The purpose of this study was to investigate clinical characteristics of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) using methylphenidate (MPH). Methods : Retrospective review of the charts of 79 children and adolescents with ASDs, who visited the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of Seoul National Hospital, from July 2010 to July 2011, was conducted. Changes in illness severity and improvement were measured using the Clinical Global Impression-Severity of illness (CGI-S) and Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) Scales. Results : We found that MPH was prescribed in 23 (29.1%) children and adolescents. Of the 23 patients on MPH, 4 patients (17.4%) were on MPH monotherapy and 18 patients (78.3%) were using risperidone concomitantly. MPH was prescribed primarily for symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity in ASDs patients. The mean dosage of MPH was mg/day and mean duration of treatment was months. Mean CGI-S score improved significantly from baseline to endpoint (from to ; p
    Journal of the Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 09/2012; 23(3).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: This study examined the child, parent, and service factors associated with polypharmacy in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Methods: As part of an online survey examining health service utilization patterns among individuals with ASD, parents provided demographic and clinical information pertaining to their child. This included information on current medication use, as well as information on clinical services received, clinical history, and parent well-being. Analyses examined the bivariate association between individual child, parent, and service variables and polypharmacy. Variables significantly associated with polypharmacy were included in a multiple variable logistic regression. Results: Of the 363 participants sampled, ∼25% were receiving two or more psychotropic drugs concurrently. The patient's psychiatric comorbidity, history of hurting others, therapy use, and parent burden were predictors of polypharmacy. Conclusions: Adolescents and young adults with ASD are a highly medicated population with multiple factors associated with psychotropic polypharmacy. Although there may be circumstances in which polypharmacy is necessary, a richer understanding of what predicts polypharmacy may lead to targeted interventions to better support these individuals and their families. Findings also highlight the need to support families of children with ASD prescribed multiple psychotropic medications.
    Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 10/2014; · 3.07 Impact Factor