Delaware Public Media

New autism treatment focuses on digestion, seeks trial participants

Mar 20, 2017

The Children’s Specialized Hospital in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey is beginning clinical trials for a new treatment for autism symptoms in children, and is seeking participants as far away as Delaware. 

 


The Blüm Study is in phase 3 clinical trials and is trying to ease the symptoms of autism by aiding food digestion.

“It’s extremely important and it could be life changing for the children and the families,” said Yvette Marie Janvier, medical director at the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Tom’s River, New Jersey, which is also taking part in the study.

She said there are currently two FDA approved drugs on the market for treating autism symptoms. But this new treatment, called CM-AT, is not a drug, it’s a flavorless enzyme sprinkled on a child’s meal that helps them digest protein.

Many children with autism are missing essential amino acids found in food proteins. By restoring these amino acids you can potentially turn on parts of a child’s brain that aren’t working.

“The idea here is that by improving the digestion of proteins those proteins will be absorbed into the bloodstream and then have an impact on brain functioning and on children’s behavior,” said Janvier.  

The overall goal of the treatment is to improve the core symptoms of autism, which includes increasing communication and sociability, while decreasing irritability.

 

The clinical trial is looking for 200 children across 30 sites nationwide. Children between the ages of 3 and 8 who have autism and symptoms of irritability are encouraged to apply for the 14-week trial.

 

Half of the participants will receive placebos.