Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Antidepressant Reduces Repetitive Behaviors in Adult Autism

Adults with autism treated with the antidepressant fluoxetine experienced a significantly greater reduction in repetitive-behavior symptoms than those on placebo, according to a report in the American Journal of Psychiatry and AJP in Advance.

Thirty-five percent of the 20 patients on fluoxetine responded, compared with none of the 13 on placebo, and 50 percent of patients on fluoxetine showed improvement in obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms, compared with 8 percent of placebo patients, said Eric Hollander, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of the Compulsive, Impulsive, and Autism Spectrum Disorder Program at Montefiore Medical Center. “Many people trying to deal with autism believe that you have to intervene early on or it gets fixed in place,” said Hollander. “This study shows that you can intervene in adulthood and get meaningful improvement.”

Hollander discusses his research in the December 21 Psychiatric News Update.

For more information, see the Textbook of Autism Spectrum Disorders from American Psychaitric Publishing.

(Image: Artistic Experience/Shutterstock)


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