Effectiveness of N-acetylcysteine in autism spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Effectiveness of N-acetylcysteine in autism spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Forfattere
Lee, T. M. Lee, K. M. Lee, C. Y. Lee, H. C. Tam, K. W. Loh, E. W.
Årstall
2020
Tidsskrift
Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volum
Sider
4867420952540
OBJECTIVE: Currently, pharmaceutical treatment options for autism spectrum disorder are limited. Brain glutaminergic dysregulation is observed in autism spectrum disorder. N-acetylcysteine, which can be converted to glutathione and subsequently release glutamate into the extracellular space, and thus reduce glutamatergic neurotransmission at synapses, is considered a potential drug for autism spectrum disorder treatment. Here, we analyzed the treatment effects of N-acetylcysteine on autism spectrum disorder in randomized controlled trials. STUDY DESIGN: Updated systematic review and meta-analysis. DATA SOURCES: By systematically searching the PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library, we obtained five randomized controlled trials. STUDY SELECTION: Meta-analyses were performed to examine the improvement in autistic behaviors as measured by the Aberrant Behavior Checklist, Social Responsiveness Scale and Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised, using mean difference with a 95% confidence interval and a random-effects model. DATA SYNTHESIS: After 8-12 weeks of N-acetylcysteine supplementation, the pooled result of four trials revealed an improvement in Aberrant Behavior Checklist total score (mean difference = 1.31, 95% confidence interval = [0.42, 2.20]). When one trial was excluded, the sensitivity test result was stronger (mean difference = 1.88, 95% confidence interval = [0.92, 2.83]). The pooled results of three trials revealed significant improvements in hyperactivity (mean difference = 4.80, 95% confidence interval = [1.20, 8.40]) and irritability (mean difference = 4.07, 95% confidence interval = [1.13, 7.04]). Regarding Social Responsiveness Scale, the pooled result of two trials showed significant improvement in social awareness after 8-12 weeks of N-acetylcysteine supplementation (mean difference = 1.34, 95% confidence interval = [0.09, 2.59]). No differences were observed in the pooled results of two trials using Repetitive Behavior Scale, either in the total or the subscales. CONCLUSION: We concluded that N-acetylcysteine is safe and tolerable, reduces hyperactivity and irritability and enhances social awareness in children with autism spectrum disorder. However, further evidence should be sought before a general recommendation.

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Tiltaksnivå

Behandling og hjelpetiltak

Tema

Psykiske vansker og lidelser

Autismespekter

Tiltak

Alternativ behandling

Kosttilskudd og ernæring

Aldersgruppe

Barn i førskolealder (3-5 år)

Barn i skolealder (6-12 år)

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