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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Treatment of medical conditions among individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Swedo, Susan

Description

Description

The life-long impairments in communication and social function for those with autism are often complicated by the presence of medical comorbidities, including epilepsy, gastrointestinal disturbances, and sleep disorders. Little is known about the pathophysiology of these comorbid conditions and even less about treatment of the symptoms among individuals with autism. Sleep disorders in ASD are of particular interest and can be reliably investigated using polysomnography (PSG), a non-invasive recording of a variety of sleep parameters. A previous study showed that children with autism spend an abnormally short time in the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep, which is thought to play a key role in learning and memory, compared to total sleep time. Donepezil hydrochloride is a drug that has been shown to normalize REM sleep, and treatment with donepezil could benefit the quality of sleep in children with autism as well as enhance their ability to learn and remember. This pilot study aims to determine the dose of donepezil that reliably increases the percentage of REM sleep and to assess any potential side effects in children ages 2-11. If donepezil is effective in normalizing REM sleep, and the drug's side-effects profile is favorable, then a placebo-controlled trial will be initiated to assess the effects of long-term donepezil administration on REM sleep and on autistic symptoms, learning, memory, and overall behavior.

Funder

Funder

National Institutes of Health

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

578006

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

Ongoing

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2SE. Launch three studies that target the underlying biological mechanisms of co-occurring conditions with autism, including seizures/epilepsy, sleep disorders, wandering/elopement behavior, and familial autoimmune disorders, by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,000,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Treatment of medical conditions among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (External web link)

Institution

Institution

National Institutes of Health

State/Country

State/Country

Maryland

Project Number

Project Number

1ZIAMH002914-03

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Federal

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Treatment of medical conditions among individuals with autism spectrum disorders | 535209 | 2009 | 1ZIAMH002914-02
Treatment of medical conditions among individuals with autism spectrum disorders | 465840 | 2008 | Z01MH002914-01

 
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