Autism Spectrum Disorder – The Future

Autism Spectrum Disorder is one of the most challenging rare disease disorders to develop new treatments for.  Nevertheless, it is good news that the disorder is garnering a lot of attention from the pharmaceutical industry.

When many people think of autism they think of some characteristic behaviors that have been made popular by films, etc.  The truth is that autism is a spectrum disorder. There are people that have autism that would by most standards appear to not in any way be impacted. There are others that are severely disabled by the disorder.

Most people would agree that interventions must be behavioral and cognitive as a first line. However, there are times when the introduction of a medicine or a combination of medicines may be necessary in addition to behavioral and cognitive therapy. The medicines that would be used to treat patients with autism will vary depending on the symptoms experienced by the patient.

Patients with autism can show the following symptoms:

-Repetitive Behaviors

– Irritability

– Anxiety

– Depression

-Gastrointestinal symptoms

-ADHD

-OCD

-Learning difficulties

  • and many other symptoms

When developing new treatments for this disorder, the pharmaceutical industry must try to address the underlying causes of the disorder. There are many organizations seeking to understand the disease, yet there is still so much that we do not know.  Researchers are currently noticing symptoms and associating them with the areas of commonality between autism patients. We have to take care with this approach because association does not indicate causation.

Autism Speaks is a non profit that is providing support to families and patients with autism. The report:

Autism and Health: A Special Report by Autism Speaks, Autism Speaks, 2017, is well worth reading for anyone involved in this field or impacted by the disorder.

Why are treatments for autism so difficult to develop? Why have the studies that have been conducted by companies like Seaside Therapeutics tended to fail to show a compelling effect on the disorder?  How can we move closer to our goal of helping patients and families where the severe forms of the disorder can be so devastating?  Keep reading this Blog to find out more about what is being done, and what can be done.

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