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


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Trial ID: NCT05664789


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 and the effects of NAC on altering restricted and repetitive behavior symptom severity in children with autism spectrum disorder. This is a 12-week double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of NAC.

Official Title

Targeting the Neurobiology of Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors in Children With Autism Using N-acetylcysteine: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Stanford Investigator(s)


Inclusion Criteria:

   - children between 3 years and 12 years 11 months

   - diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder confirmed with the Autism Diagnostic Interview-
   Revised and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2, Brief Observation of
   Symptoms of Autism, or Childhood Autism Rating Scale

   - at least moderate severity of restricted and repetitive behaviors defined by a
   Children's Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale for Autism Spectrum Disorder score ≥

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

   - passes MR safety screening (e.g., no metal in the body) and attempts baseline
   neuroimaging (MRI or EEG)

   - have stable medication regimens (≥ 30 days) and psychosocial treatments (≥ 60 days)
   prior to randomization with no anticipated changes during the trial

Exclusion Criteria:

   - presence of known genetic abnormalities associated with ASD (e.g. Fragile X)

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

   - presence of significant medical problems

   - the inability of at least one caregiver to speak and read English to a sufficient

   - participants taking glutathione agents/prodrugs

   - history of any adverse effects to glutathione agents/prodrugs

   - the inability to drink a sample study compound dissolved in liquid


drug: N acetyl cysteine

drug: Placebo


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Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305
Madeleine Clark, BS