Sulforaphane as an adjunctive treatment for irritability in children with autism spectrum disorder: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2020 Apr 29. Epub 2020 Apr 29. PMID: 32347624
AIM: Irritability related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) complicates the management of ASD patients at home and in clinical settings. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, we aimed to investigate the beneficial effects of adjuvant treatment with risperidone and sulforaphane in alleviating the irritability of children with ASD.
METHODS: Sixty drug-free patients aged 4-12 years were randomly assigned to one of two groups receiving risperidone plus sulforaphane or placebo. Risperidone was started with a daily dose of 0.25 mg in patients weighing<20 kg and 0.5 mg in those weighing ≥20 kg and increased stepwise to reach a maximum of 1 mg (<20 kg), 2.5 mg (20-45 kg), and 3.5 mg (>45 kg). Sulforaphane was administered at a daily dose of 50 μmol (≤45 kg) or 100 μmol (>45 kg). The participants were assessed with the Aberrant Behavior Checklist - Community Edition at baseline and at Weeks 5 and 10.
RESULTS: Compared to the placebo group, ASD patients in the sulforaphane group showed greater improvements in Irritability score (primary outcome measure; P = 0.001) and Hyperactivity/Noncompliance score (secondary outcome measure; P = 0.015), and significant Time × Treatment effect for Irritability (P = 0.007) and Hyperactivity/Noncompliance (P = 0.008). However, no difference was seen in improvements in the other secondary measures: Lethargy/Social Interaction score, Stereotypic Behavior score, Inappropriate Speech score, and frequency of adverse events.
CONCLUSION: Our results support the safety and efficacy of sulforaphane as an adjuvant to risperidone for improvement of irritability and hyperactivity symptoms in children with ASD.