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U.S. PSYCH: Atypical Antipsychotic Medication Cuts Behavioral Symptoms in Autism

U.S. PSYCH: Atypical Antipsychotic Medication Cuts Behavioral Symptoms in Autism

SAN FRANCISCO, April 25 -- While the behavioral symptoms of autism have been treated with a wide spectrum of medications, atypical antipsychotics may be the most effective drug class.

So said Lawrence D. Scahill, Ph.D., of Yale University, in a presentation here at the U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress regional extension.

Serious behavioral problems accompany autism in 20% to 30% of cases and include aggression, tantrums and self-injury.

To treat these and as well as the repetitive behaviors intrinsic to autism spectrum disorders, clinicians have tried a laundry list of medications ranging from stimulants to anticonvulsants to the substance abuse drug naltrexone (Vivitrol).

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