St John's Wort treating patients with autistic disorder.
Oncol Res. 1997;9(1):31-9. PMID: 19274686
Problems of eye contact and expressive language limit the effectiveness of educational and behavioral interventions in patients suffering from pervasive developmental disorders. For that reason, additive psychopharmacological interventions are sometimes needed to improve symptomatology. In our preliminary open trial, three male patients with autistic disorder, diagnosed by ICD-10 criteria, completed an open trial of St John's Wort. Subjects were included in the study if their eye contact and expressive language was inadaequate for their developmental level and if they had not tolerated or responded to other psychopharmacologic treatments (methylphenidate, clonidine or desipramine). Parent and mentor ratings on the Aberrant Behavior Checklist, irritability, stereotypy, and inappropriate speech factors improved slightly during treatment with St John's Wort. Clinician ratings (Psychiatric Rating Scale Autism, Anger and Speech Deviance factors; Global Assessment Scale; Clinical Global Impressions efficacy) did not improve significantly. St John's Wort was only modestly effective in the short-term treatment of irritability in some patients with autistic disorder.