Though there are medications approved for treating irritability, anxiety and aggressive behavior in children with autism, Ventre said, none have been cleared for mitigating impaired social interaction and communication skills.
Right now, memantine is approved only for the treatment of Alzheimer's symptoms in the elderly, and the doses used in this study would be adjusted to levels appropriate for pediatric patients.
Children ages 6 to 12 with a confirmed diagnosis of autism, Asperger's and PDD-NOS from throughout Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are invited to participate. The study would last 50 weeks and require up to 13 visits to Research Centers of America offices, according to the ConnectMe website, ConnectMeTrial.com.
Participating in the study is free and voluntary, and parents can decide to remove their children at any time.