Amantadine Use in Autism Treatment


Amantadine autism treatment offers a new angle for addressing behavioral problems associated with pervasive developmental disorders. Traditional approaches like applied behavioral analysis (ABA) use behavioral interventions, while amantadine therapy changes behaviors by changing chemicals in the brain that may cause the behaviors.

About Amantadine

Amantadine is a drug that can be effective in treating Parkinson's disease and viral infections. Symmetrel is a brand name for the medication. The oral medication contains amantadine hydrochloride, a white crystalline powder that is water soluble. The body absorbs the medication easily, but its side effects can be serious.

An overdose of the drug can be deadly. The medication can cause toxicity in different systems of the body, including the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. Amantadine can exasperate mental health problems. Reports of suicide attempts in patients who have no history of mental illness exist, but doctors don't know how amantadine may trigger the suicidal tendencies.

Exploring Amantadine Autism Treatment

The drug can be effective in treating Parkinson's disease, but can it treat autism? People with Parkinson's disease have difficulty with motor control, and the drug helps by lessening stiffness and reducing tremors. According to the Mayo Clinic, the medication can treat side effects of medications used to treat emotional or mental conditions.

How do these conditions relate to autism? Stereotyped repetitive movements are telltale signs of autism, and they may stem from the central nervous system. Medication like amantadine may lessen self-stimulatory behaviors like hand flapping. Studies attempt to answer whether the medication can address problems like irritability, hyperactivity and other behavioral disturbances.

Treatment for Behavioral Disturbances

A study from Dartmouth Medical School found that children tolerated amantadine well, but it found that parents did not report significant behavioral changes after their children took the medication. However, clinicians found improvements in behaviors. The study concludes that more research is necessary to determine if this or similar drugs can be effective. The parents may not have noticed significant behavioral improvements, but clinicians did, which indicates that further investigations are in order.

Unfortunately, few studies exist that explore the safety and effectiveness of amantadine treatment for autism. Researchers designed a Johns Hopkins University study that would have explored the drug as a possible treatment for behavioral disturbances in frontotemporal dementia by focusing on the medication's effects on behaviors, but Johns Hopkins University terminated the study because of recruitment difficulties.

Before Using Amantadine

While amantadine can be effective in treating some neurological problems, it can be problematic for some people. No studies have uncovered problems specific to children, but it is important to consider all of the precautions before giving the medication to your child. This is especially important when it comes to treating a child who has seizures.

More research is necessary before determining whether the medication can be effective in treating autistic disorders. If studies find that the drug works, it may offer a solution to problems like self-stimulatory behaviors, hyperactivity, and obsessive tendencies. For now, amatadine autism treatment per se, does not exist.

Like other medications for autism, the drug would treat some of the symptoms of autism, but it would not serve as a cure for the condition. In addition, like other biomedical treatments for autistic disorders, researchers have to establish whether the drug therapy is effective enough to outweigh its side effects.

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Amantadine Use in Autism Treatment