Under the direction of Lawrence Scahill, Ph.D., the Clinical Trials Core has established a program to develop and test pharmacological and behavioral interventions for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Dr. Scahill has been part of a productive consortium focused on clinical trials in autism since 1997. This federally funded Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP) Autism Network completed a study that led to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of risperidone for the treatment of children with autistic disorder accompanied by serious behavioral problems such as tantrums, aggression and self-injury.
Since then, this consortium has completed several other trials that offer guidance to clinicians and families. Most recently, the team finished enrollment of a large-scale study of parent training for disruptive behavior in preschool children with ASD.
Currently, there are no medications approved by the FDA for treating the social disability and repetitive behaviors that define ASD. The next wave of clinical trials by Dr. Scahill and his colleagues nationwide will test new medications focused on the core features of ASD.
Avi Gates, an active, independent 3-year-old, does not have autism. But for two years, she was a participant in an autism research study aimed at changing the very nature of the disease. Learn why Avi's parent's chose to participate in autism research.
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