ROANOKE, Va. – There are limited treatments for children with autism. That’s why Carilion Clinic is calling on families to help in a study to potentially improve irritability, aggressive and self-harming behaviors through the gut, rather than the brain.
The study needs seven to eight Virginia teenagers between 13 and 17 years old to participate.
Each teenager will be provided a kit where there is a tasteless powder medication called AB-2004.
Carilion’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Director of Clinical Research Anita Kablinger said the medication is not new and past studies show it helps reduce irritable symptoms.
The medication would be mixed with soft food and taken three times a day.
Researchers will monitor the teenagers for 8 to 14 weeks and record any changes in their behavior.
“I don’t think the gut-brain connection is unusual,” she said. “But it’s definitely a newer way we are looking at things.”
The study wants to evaluate if lowering certain gut bacteria could improve irritable symptoms in children with autism and determine if there is an effective therapeutic dose.
Carilion Clinic is one of 25 locations conducting the worldwide study with the goal to work with 200 teenagers to hopefully improve the quality of life for children with autism.
If you want to find out if you are eligible to participate or ask more detailed questions about the study, you can head to the Carilion Clinic website.