Naltrexone and other potential new pharmacological treatments of autismx (Abstract)

Naltrexone and other potential new pharmacological treatments of autism

Brain Dysfunction
April 1991

Summarizes results from a series of open and double-blind trials that have yielded positive therapeutic effects with low doses of naltrexone (NTX), including reductions in autistic stereotypes, aggressiveness, and self-injurious behaviors, and the production of heightened prosocial emotional attitudes that are accompanied by increased smiling, eye contact, attention, and attempts to communicate. The positive behavioral change seems to be enhanced by social support, and how such features of therapeutic situations can be maximized to optimize clinical benefits from NTX is discussed. Since "serenic" drugs (e.g., eltoprazine) have strong antiaggressive effects in other preclinical models while leaving prosocial activities intact or elevated, they may be useful agents for the treatment of various autistic symptoms.

Keywords: double-blind, open-trials, low dose naltrexone, NTX, aggressiveness, positive behavioral change, eltoprazine, serenic

Keywords by Erin Williams, student, St. Louis College of Pharmacy