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Valproate Response in Aggressive Autistic Adolescents

The recruitment status of this study is unknown. The completion date has passed and the status has not been verified in more than two years.
Verified June 2003 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Identifier:
First received: August 1, 2003
Last updated: June 23, 2005
Last verified: June 2003
This study will examine the effect of valproate, a medication used to treat seizures and bipolar disorder, on aggressive behavior in children and adolescents with autism.

Condition Intervention Phase
Drug: Valproate
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Double-Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Valproate Response in Aggressive Autistic Adolescents

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):

Estimated Enrollment: 30
Detailed Description:

Autism is a complex biological disorder that generally lasts throughout a person’s life. It starts before age three and causes delays or problems with many different ways in which a person develops or grows. Some people with autism become very aggressive and can hurt others or themselves. This study will test the hypothesis that aggressive autistic adolescents will show a significantly greater response to valproate maintained at blood levels of 75-100 mcg/ml than to placebo. The study will also assess the safety of valproate in autistic adolescents. This represents the first double-blind study of valproate in mentally retarded/developmentally delayed populations.

Participants in this study will undergo DSM-IV evaluation, the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and baseline blood tests. After baseline screening, all participants will be given a placebo for 1 week. Participants will then be randomized to receive either valproate or placebo for 8 weeks. Dosage adjustment according to blood levels drawn at the end of weeks 2 and 4 will be arranged with parents by a child psychiatrist without breaking the blind. The Aberrant Behavior Check-list-Community (ABC-C) irritability subscale will be the primary measure; the Overt Aggression Scale (OAS), ABC-C hyperactivity subscale, Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) problem severity, Self-Injurious Behavior Questionnaire (SIB-Q), and a valproate side effects checklist will be secondary measures.


Ages Eligible for Study:   6 Years to 21 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria

  • Autism
  • Lives in the Kansas City area

Exclusion Criteria

  • Psychoactive maintenance medication
  • Degenerative central nervous system disorder
  • Unstable medical illness
  • Seizures in the 6 months prior to study entry
  • History of valproate sensitivity or previous liver disease
  • History of ovarian cysts
  • Low platelet count or raised liver transaminases
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00065884

United States, Kansas
Outpatient MR/Autism Clinic, University of Kansas Recruiting
Kansas City, Kansas, United States, 66160
Contact: Marilyn Weckbaugh, RN    913-588-1315   
Sponsors and Collaborators
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Principal Investigator: Jessica A. Hellings, M.D. University of Kansas
  More Information Identifier: NCT00065884     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: P30HD002528 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
K08MH001516 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: August 1, 2003
Last Updated: June 23, 2005

Keywords provided by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD):

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Valproic Acid
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
GABA Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antimanic Agents
Tranquilizing Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Psychotropic Drugs processed this record on May 25, 2017