The drug balovaptan is being tested in a nationwide clinical trial by researchers at Montefiore Medical Center in New York to determine whether or not it can be effective for children with autism by improving symptoms they experience.
In adults, balovaptan has shown the potential to improve social interaction and communication in people with ASD. Dr. Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program at Montefiore, was quoted in a CBS News article as saying, “There are not any approved treatments for what we think of as the core symptoms of autism… all of the social difficulties, repetitive behaviors and the ability to function in everyday life.”
Balovaptan is believed to prevent a molecule that affects social behavior from connecting with receptors in the brain. If the drug is approved for use in children, Hollander indicated that it would not be a cure-all, but would be used in conjunction with social and behavioral interventions and therapies, like speech and occupational therapy, to treat children with autism.
The clinical trial involves a double-blind study on 300 children and teenagers with autism. Some of those in the study are taking balovaptan, while others are being given a placebo, but participants do not know which they are being given.
The clinical study is being publicized at the perfect time, as April is National Autism Awareness Month. This year the Autism Society has announced that it would like the month to be about more than just promoting autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination. This month should be a time when friends and collaborators partner in the movement toward acceptance, as well as appreciation of the unique talents and gifts those with autism have to offer.
In the U.S. alone, one in 68 children have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Children with autism frequently have issues with communication, social and interpersonal interactions, learning, and emotional expression, although they can go on to live rewarding, productive lives.
At NAPA Center, we take an individualized approach to therapy because we understand that each child is unique with very specific needs. We embrace differences with an understanding that individualized programs work better. For this reason, no two therapeutic programs are alike. If your child needs our services, we will work closely with you to select the best therapies for them, creating a customized program specific to your child’s needs and your family’s goals. Let your child’s journey begin today by contacting us to learn more.