Endogenous opioids and opiate antagonists in autism: brief review of empirical findings and implications for clinicians

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1995 Mar;37(3):239-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1995.tb11998.x.

Abstract

Endogenous opioid dysfunction hypotheses for the development of autism are reviewed, along with clinical empirical studies of opiate antagonists in autism and self-injurious behaviour. There is not yet sufficient evidence to suggest the use of opiate antagonists in the treatment of autism. Further research, particularly of natrexone in severe self-injury, is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / blood*
  • Autistic Disorder / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Autistic Disorder / drug therapy
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Endorphins / blood*
  • Endorphins / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Endorphins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Melatonin / blood
  • Melatonin / metabolism
  • Naloxone / therapeutic use
  • Naltrexone / therapeutic use
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / drug therapy
  • Serotonin / blood

Substances

  • Endorphins
  • Serotonin
  • Naloxone
  • Naltrexone
  • Melatonin