Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition characterized by impaired social communication and restricted or repetitive behavior and interests. Psychic distress is common among individuals with ASD, especially in its milder form (level 1), with anxiety and depression being the most common types. Recent research has identified neuroinflammation and gut dysbiosis as potential neurobiological mechanisms underlying ASD. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endocannabinoid (eCB)-like compound, has shown promise in modulating such mechanisms and may thus have therapeutic implications for ASD. To date, no clinical trial has evaluated the efficacy of PEA in adults with ASD. This 12-week open-label study will assess the feasibility, tolerability, safety, and efficacy of ultramicronized PEA (um-PEA) in treating symptoms of psychic distress, such as anxiety and depression, in adults with level 1 ASD. Secondary research endpoints will include um-PEA’s effects on levels of personal autonomy and neurocognitive and interpersonal function. From a biological point of view, this study will assess um-PEA’s effects on inflammatory markers, the metabolic profile, eCB system modulation, and microbial composition as potential mechanisms of action for its therapeutic effect. In conclusion, this study will investigate a novel approach to the treatment of adults presenting with psychic distress in the context of level 1 ASD. The results may provide valuable insight into the use of um-PEA as a treatment option for ASD adults, addressing a significant unmet clinical need.

The Supplementation Therapy in Autism and Response to Treatment (START) Study: An Open-Label Feasibility Trial of Ultramicronized Palmitoylethanolamide Potential to Alleviate Psychic Distress among Autistic Adults

Curcio, Francesco;Fabris, Martina;Fornasaro, Stefano;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition characterized by impaired social communication and restricted or repetitive behavior and interests. Psychic distress is common among individuals with ASD, especially in its milder form (level 1), with anxiety and depression being the most common types. Recent research has identified neuroinflammation and gut dysbiosis as potential neurobiological mechanisms underlying ASD. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endocannabinoid (eCB)-like compound, has shown promise in modulating such mechanisms and may thus have therapeutic implications for ASD. To date, no clinical trial has evaluated the efficacy of PEA in adults with ASD. This 12-week open-label study will assess the feasibility, tolerability, safety, and efficacy of ultramicronized PEA (um-PEA) in treating symptoms of psychic distress, such as anxiety and depression, in adults with level 1 ASD. Secondary research endpoints will include um-PEA’s effects on levels of personal autonomy and neurocognitive and interpersonal function. From a biological point of view, this study will assess um-PEA’s effects on inflammatory markers, the metabolic profile, eCB system modulation, and microbial composition as potential mechanisms of action for its therapeutic effect. In conclusion, this study will investigate a novel approach to the treatment of adults presenting with psychic distress in the context of level 1 ASD. The results may provide valuable insight into the use of um-PEA as a treatment option for ASD adults, addressing a significant unmet clinical need.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3077098
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