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expert reaction to new research on a drug which may reduce some symptoms of autism

Research published in Translational Psychiatry suggested the diuretic bumetanide may mitigate some of the behavioral abnormalities associated with autism.


Prof Uta Frith, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, said:

“I am sceptical, because over my lifetime I have seen a number of treatments for autism come and go. However, what makes me sit up and take notice is that the study is based on a randomised control trial design. This is a good thing, but still many questions remain, such as what is the mechanism? Will the effect be replicated? Are some children more likely to benefit than others? The effects of the drug over placebo were modest and one should not overlook that 33% of the placebo sample treated showed amelioration.”



*‘A randomised controlled trial of bumetanide in the treatment of autism in children’ by E Lemonnier et al., published in Translational Psychiatry on Tuesday 11 December 2012. 

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