Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), research is progressing…

According to Inserm, about 700,000 people in France are affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD). These are neurodevelopmental disorders on which much research is focused in France and around the world. Inserm recently took stock of the latest advances at ASD. Explanations.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), research is progressing…

TSA and research

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) encompass a fairly wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders. They begin in early childhood and usually persist into adulthood. Over the years, research has multiplied to answer several key questions:

  • What Causes Autism and Related Disorders?
  • Is it a disease in itself? What are the underlying mechanisms?
  • Is there one or more forms of autism?
  • How do you identify and treat people with autism?

Significant progress has been made in several areas in recent years. However, there are still ambiguities and uncertainties that need to be clarified. Currently, scientists are focusing on three main areas:

  • The earliest possible identification of ASD ;
  • Psychosocial care adapted to each patient;
  • The development of new therapy options.

Several promising anti-ASD drugs tested without success

To date, no treatment can completely solve the problem ASD. Nevertheless, therapeutic options are being introduced to improve the signs of these disorders, namely:

  • impairment of social interactions;
  • Oral and non-verbal communication disorders;
  • behavior problems;
  • Impaired sensory functions.

Nursing helps to alleviate these disorders, but also to treat the problems associated with them, such as learning difficulties, sleep disorders, anxiety disorders or motor deficits. Several clinical studies have evaluated the interest in new promising substances such as balovaptan, bumetanide and oxytocin in recent years. Unfortunately, these three substances have not been shown to be effective in alleviating autism spectrum disorders.

A future clinical trial on bromide ions?

Researchers don’t give up. Based on the latest data on the genetic and environmental factors associated with autism, they propose new substances to study. Among them are bromide ions, a therapy that is already used in the treatment of epilepsy. A first French study carried out on three mouse models indicates an interest of bromide ions in the treatment of ASD.

Epilepsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder have several things in common:

  • Patients with ASD can also be epileptic;
  • Some ASDs are associated with dysfunction of inhibitory neural connections, such as B. Epilepsy.

Bromide ions could correct the imbalance between excitation and inhibition of neural circuits, thereby improving social behavior while reducing stereotyping. A clinical trial, conducted on a small sample of adult patients, may soon be launched 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

Sources

– Autism Spectrum Disorders: Where Does the Research Stand? press.inserm.fr. Retrieved June 22, 2022.

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