Targeting the Neurobiology of RRB in Autism Using N-acetylcysteine: Single-dose


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Trial ID: NCT04278898


The goal of this study is to target the neurobiology of restricted and repetitive behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder using N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a well-tolerated nutritional supplement that has shown promise for reducing symptom severity in recent small-scale trials. The findings from this research will shed light on the mechanisms of action underlying the clinical benefits of NAC.

Official Title

Targeting the Neurobiology of Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors in Children With Autism Using N-acetylcysteine: a Single-dose Challenge Study

Stanford Investigator(s)


Inclusion Criteria:

   - children between 3 years and 12 years 11 months at the time of consent

   - diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder confirmed with the Autism Diagnostic
   Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (ADOS-2),
   or Brief Observation of Symptoms of Autism (BOSA), or Childhood Autism Rating Scale-
   Second Edition (CARS-2).

   - at least moderate Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors severity defined by a Children's
   Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale for children with autism spectrum disorder score
   ≥ 11,

   - physical development indicative of prepubescence as defined by the criteria for Tanner
   Stage 1,

   - medically stable,

   - passes MR safety screening (e.g., no metal in the body).

Exclusion Criteria:

   - presence of known genetic abnormalities associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (e.g.
   Fragile X),

   - current or life-time diagnosis of severe psychiatric disorder (e.g., schizophrenia),

   - presence of significant medical problems that would interfere with participation,

   - the inability of at least one caregiver to speak/read English to a sufficient level to
   complete study requirements and materials,

   - individuals taking antioxidant agents and glutathione prodrugs, or

   - the inability/unwillingness to swallow an agent during the screening visit.


drug: N-Acetylcysteine


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Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
John Hegarty, PhD