Thursday, January 12, 2006

New Autism Spectrum Disorder study looks at gastrointestinal dysfunction

New Study to Evaluate Effect of an Investigational Drug on a Condition that

Affects Up to Fifty Percent of Children with Autism
SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- North San Antonio Healthcare Associates (NSAHA) is one of twelve trial sites selected to participate in a research study to evaluate an investigational medication for persistent gastrointestinal (GI) dysfunction in autistic children.
Up to fifty percent of children with autism experience persistent GI problems, ranging from mild to moderate degrees of inflammation in both the upper and lower intestinal tract.
"With autism growing at a rate of 10 to 17 percent per year, we recognize the need to address issues directly affecting these patients," says Dr. Melissa M. Kempf, NSAHA. "Although there is no known cure, early intervention and treatments hold promise and provide hope for families living with autism."
The current study aims to determine the effect of an investigational drug on GI function as well as assess the effect on autistic behavior.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders defines autism as a brain disorder that begins in early childhood and persists throughout adulthood affecting three crucial areas of development: communication, social interaction and creative or imaginative play.
Autism is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders, affecting an estimated 1 in 250 births (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2003). This means that as many as 1.5 million Americans today are believed to have some form of autism.(1)
To find out more about the study, please contact WD Charlie Hill, RN @ (210) 422-0311.