Children with autism benefit from blood pressure medication, researchers say
An existing medicine for high blood pressure also helps children with autism to better process stimuli, Amsterdam UMC concluded in a study. The drug involved is bumetanide.
According to the university hospital, this drug has a beneficial effect on the brains of children who have difficulty processing information. Their stimulus balance isn't optimal; the brain is over- or under-stimulated. "The researchers showed that bumetanide can influence the stimulus balance by reducing the chlorine concentration in the brain cells," according to Amsterdam UMC.
The researchers also developed an algorithm to predict which children this medicine will work for and which not. They do this with the help of a brain video (EEG). "Just prescribing something for children with autism symptoms must be a thing of the past. We found a method in which we can see quite precisely for which child this drug will work," said child psychiatrist Hilgo Bruining.
He pointed out that bumetanide has no severe side effects like antipsychotics or Ritalin. The study involved 92 children aged 7-15 years with autism. The study was published in the medical journal Biological Psychiatry CNNI.
Reporting by ANP.