Current Approaches to the Pharmacologic Treatment of Core Symptoms Across the Lifespan of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Gahan Pandina, Robert H Ring, Abigail Bangerter, Seth Ness
Psychiatric Clinics of North America 2020, 43 (4): 629-645
There are no approved medications for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) core symptoms. However, given the significant clinical need, children and adults with ASD are prescribed medication off label for core or associated conditions, sometimes based on limited evidence for effectiveness. Recent developments in the understanding of biologic basis of ASD have led to novel targets with potential to impact core symptoms, and several clinical trials are underway. Heterogeneity in course of development, co-occurring conditions, and age-related treatment response variability hampers study outcomes. Novel measures and approaches to ASD clinical trial design will help in development of effective pharmacologic treatments.

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