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article imageDiabetes treatment reduces obesity in children with autism

By Tim Sandle     Aug 24, 2016 in Health
A standard drug used to treat type-2 diabetes, called metformin, has been shown to be effective in aiding overweight children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to maintain or reduce their body mass index (BMI).
Metformin (often branded as Glucophage) is the first-line medication for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. The drug is used in combination with diet, exercise, weight control and, if necessary, special medical care.
The effects of the medication in helping to reduce obesity have come from research conducted by Michael Aman, who is professor emeritus of psychology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Nisonger Center. This has been demonstrated through a 16-week, multicenter clinical trial. Here the trail observed outcomes of 60 adolescents and children (aged between 6-17 years) with ASD. The children were classed as overweight. The weight gain was attributed to the side effects of an approved antipsychotic medication prescribed to treat irritability and agitation. These medications, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), can cause a significant increase in weight gain and BMI. These alterations to body physiology increase long-term risk of diabetes. Researchers explored the effectiveness of metformin in counteracting weigh gain associated with antipsychotics.
The outcome indicated that metformin was well-tolerated and reduced BMI scores from the initial baseline significantly more than with a placebo (control) group.
GutMicrobiomePapers (@GutPapers) "Modulation of gut microbiota by berberine and metformin during the treatment of high-fat diet-induced obesity."
In a statement (sent to Digital Journal), Professor Aman said: "This is a very special group, as young people with ASD present with many unique challenges. By definition, they experience communication difficulties, and they’re reported to have more gastrointestinal (GI) difficulties than most other patient groups."
The research outcomes are to be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry.
More about Obesity, Autism, Diabetes, Glucophage
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