The Nisonger Center starts clinical study for the treatment of core symptoms of autism in children.

The Nisonger Center at The Ohio State University Medical Center today announced the start of a Phase II clinical research study sponsored by Forest Laboratories, Inc., for the treatment of core symptoms of autism in children communication and socialization.

Autism can be a lifelong developmental disability that impairs a child's ability to socialize and communicate with others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a group of developmental disabilities which includes "classic" autism, affects one out of every 150 children in the United States.

"This is a significant research initiative that may help advance the management of this disorder, which does not just affect the child - it can take a toll on the entire family," said Michael Aman, Ph.D. "There is a real need for a medication that may address the core symptoms of autism to complement the effective behavioral and educational interventions that are currently used."

The Nisonger Center is among 16 research centers throughout the U.S. participating in the ConnectMe study. Study medication, comprehensive study-related evaluations and all study-related medical care are provided at no cost to the family. The investigational medication being studied in ConnectMe contains the active ingredient memantine hydrochloride, in a dosage and administration unique to pediatric patients.

The Nisonger Center is seeking families in the greater Columbus area with children between the ages of 6 and 12 who have a diagnosis of autism to participate in this research trial. Outreach has been made to several community organizations associated with autism to further encourage families to consider participating.

For more information about this clinical study, call (614) 688-4656, visit http://psychmed.osu.edu, or www.AutismResearchStudy.com.