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"Promising" Research on Autism by Craig Erickson '99 is Highlighted

"Promising" Research on Autism by Craig Erickson '99 is Highlighted

April 19, 2011

94433April 19, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — "In small, early clinical trials, adults and children with autism and Fragile X syndrome have shown improved communication and social behavior when treated with acamprosate, according to Craig Erickson, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine and chief of the Riley Hospital for Children Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Indiana University Health," notes the Behavioral Medicine Report. "Acamprosate, which affects chemicals in the brain by blocking certain receptors associated with mental health, has approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of alcoholism in adults. Dr. Erickson is the inventor on a pending utility patent for the use of acamprosate as a therapeutic agent for Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability and the most frequent single gene cause of autism."

Erickson, a 1999 graduate of DePauw University, says, "We have been treating small numbers of both adults and childre. We have observed improvements in eye contact, social interaction, and speech. This is very early work, but it appears promising."

The researcher adds, "We have a lot to do. We need to determine appropriate doses and forms for the best drug delivery. Larger studies will be needed to determine effectiveness and tolerability. And we expect to find many interesting things along 92579the road; for example, whether this drug could work better in those with Fragile X who have autism than in those whose autism is from an unknown cause."

Research by Dr. Erickson and his colleagues was highlighted in the November 2010 Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Access the complete article here.

Craig Erickson was the subject of the Indianapolis Star's "Rising Star" column Sunday.  Details can be found in this story.