Join CafeMom Today! Autism Spectrum Disorder: Treatments: Most meds don't help autism

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Most meds don't help autism

Most meds don't help autism, studies show

Better studies that show which therapies work best for which children with autism spectrum disorders are needed, because most of the current research used to weigh treatment options today is lacking, according to new research published Monday.

When 1 in 110 children are affected by the same disorder where there's no definitively known cause or effective cure and in many parts of the country insufficient treatment options, determining how to best treat your child can be a huge challenge.

This is what parents of young and older children with autism face every day. People who have this neurological disorder can have multiple symptoms that affect their ability to communicate, impair their social behavior and display repetitive behavior. Many therapies and medications are offered to help patients with this disorder which affects patients for as long as they live, but there's not necessarily a consensus on what works at all or works well.

So the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, decided to take a deeper look at the existing research. The AHRQ recognized that care for adolescents and young adults with autism varies greatly from provider to provider and that the people making decisions about treatment – family and health care professionals – had little solid information on which to judge.

Three studies published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, provide some data from this very large report. One article examines the effectiveness of intense early behavioral therapy in children with ASDs; the two others look at medications that are often prescribed to treat children with autism, with one study focusing specifically on a hormone called secretin. The research was done at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

More at CNN.com

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