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Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 1516-4446
NIKOLOV, Roumen; JONKER, Jacob and SCAHILL, Lawrence. Autistic disorder: current psychopharmacological treatments and areas of interest for future developments. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2006, vol.28, suppl.1, pp. s39-s46. ISSN 1516-4446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462006000500006.
Autistic disorder and the group of related conditions defined as pervasive developmental disorders are chronic neurodevelopmental disorders starting in early childhood and affecting a significant number of children and families. Although the causes and much of the pathophysiology of the disorder remain unknown, in recent years a number of available medication treatments have been identified as holding promise in alleviating some of the most disabling maladaptive behaviors, associated with pervasive developmental disorders. However these treatments do not address the core symptoms of the disease and oftentimes their side effects outweigh their benefits. Therefore there is substantial need for new medications that are safer and more effective in addressing the behavior symptoms of autism. The aim of this review is to highlight the available current pharmacotherapies and those emerging treatments with potential to enhance the treatment options of patients with pervasive developmental disorders.
Keywords : Autistic disorder; Antipsychotic agents; Anticonvulsants; Antidepressant agents; Disease management.