Improvement of Language in Children with Autism with Combined Donepezil and Choline Treatment

Lidia V. Gabis, Rotem Ben-Hur, Shahar Shefer, Ariela Jokel, Dorit Ben Shalom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The safety and efficacy of a novel combination treatment of AChE inhibitors and choline supplement was initiated and evaluated in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Safety and efficacy were evaluated on 60 children and adolescents with ASD during a 9-month randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial comprising 12 weeks of treatment preceded by baseline evaluation, and followed by 6 months of washout, with subsequent follow-up evaluations. The primary exploratory measure was language, and secondary measures included core autism symptoms, sleep and behavior. Significant improvement was found in receptive language skills 6 months after the end of treatment as compared to placebo. The percentage of gastrointestinal disturbance reported as a side effect during treatment was higher in the treatment group as compared to placebo. The treatment effect was enhanced in the younger subgroup (younger than 10 years), occurred already at the end of the treatment phase, and was sustained at 6 months post treatment. No significant side effects were found in the younger subgroup. In the adolescent subgroup, no significant improvement was found, and irritability was reported statistically more often in the adolescent subgroup as compared to placebo. Combined treatment of donepezil hydrochloride with choline supplement demonstrates a sustainable effect on receptive language skills in children with ASD for 6 months after treatment, with a more significant effect in those under the age of 10 years.

Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)224-234
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Neuroscience
Volume69
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Language
  • Donepezil
  • Choline
  • Children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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