HOUSTON A researcher who tested children with autism noticed the kids had low levels of an enzyme needed for protein digestion. When a human body doesn't break down proteins, it starts to lack the essential amino acids needed for the production of neurotransmitters. Investigators at the University of Texas Health Science Center now are looking for families willing to partake in their clinical trial to see whether a new drug could improve the behaviors of children suffering from autism. Children who participate in the study will be prescribed either a placebo or the study drug. The drug is a tasteless powder that can be sprinkled on food. See details below for eligibility and contact information.
Your child may be eligible if he/she:
Has a diagnosis of autism
Is between the ages of 3-8 years
Has a parent who can read and sign a consent from written in English
Your child cannot participate if he/she:
Weighs less than 24 pounds
Has allegories to pork products or pancreatic enzymes
Has a history of severe head trauma or stroke
Had a seizure within the last year prior to enrollment
Is diagnosed with chronic illnesses impacting overall health
Research participants will:
Take medication or placebo ("fake medicine") for 12 weeks -- no pills to swallow, the tasteless medication is sprinkled on food
Come in to the clinic for 6 visits
Receive some compensation for their time and travel
Receive a free psychological screening report
Risks and benefits will be discussed with research participants and their parent prior to enrolling in the study. This research study is being conducted by Deborah A. Pearson, Ph.D and her colleagues in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston.
To enroll or get more information, call 713-486-2591 or visit http://www.uth.tmc.edu/chdr/.
Does your child qualify for new autism study?
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