Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Treatment of sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorder with melatonin: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study  

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience high rates of sleep disturbances that potentially contribute to the severity of their cognitive and behavioral dysfunction and to poor quality of life for themselves and their families. This research will examine whether sleep problems in children with ASD are related to alterations in the secretion of melatonin (MT), a hormone that plays an important role in regulating the circadian cycle and sleep. It will also determine the efficacy of MT for improving sleep in children with ASD. Participants in the study will be recruited from the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) and parents will complete a validated sleep questionnaire to assess presence or absence of sleep problems in their child. Levels of melatonin will be measured before and after a child's usual bedtime and the total 24-hour MT production will be determine via urine samples from each child. In addition, a double-blind, randomized trial of three oral doses of MT (3, 6, 9 mg) and placebo in children ages 4-9 years will establish efficacy of its use in managing sleep problems in children with ASD. Data from this study will provide important information concerning circadian rhythm dysregulation in ASD and will support the development of future studies using melatonin to modify and correct abnormal circadian rhythms. Project Status
ONGOING

2010

Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $8,775.00
Current Award Period 2009-2010
Project Number 5M01RR000188-46
Principal Investigator Hopkins, Bobbi
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Treatments)
Subcategory Medical/Pharmacologic
Strategic Plan Objective Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 4SA. Support at least three randomized controlled trials that address co-occurring medical conditions associated with ASD by 2010. IACC Recommended Budget: $13,400,000 over 3 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Baylor College of Medicine
State/Country Texas
Web Link 1 Treatment of sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorder with melatonin: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Treatment of sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorder with melatonin: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study | $6,814.00 | 2009 | 5M01RR000188-45