A growing body of research indicates that dietary intervention excluding foods containing the proteins, gluten and casein, from the diet of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have a positive effect on behaviour and developmental outcome.
In this single-blind, randomised-controlled, matched-pair adaptive trial, we introduced a gluten- and casein-free (GFCF) diet to a group of pre-pubescent children diagnosed with ASD concurrently with an abnormal urinary profile. Following random allocation to a diet or non- diet group, stage 1 of the study saw an intervention group follow the GFCF diet for eight months initially - progressing to 12 months if required. A non-diet control group continued with a normal diet.
Assuming significant changes for the dietary group on the various outcome measures of behaviour and development, stage 2 of the study saw both groups assigned to GFCF dietary intervention for a further 12 months when outcome measures were again assessed at study end.
|Autism Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)||Other: Gluten- and casein-free diet||Phase 2|
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||The ScanBrit Randomised Controlled Study of Gluten- and Casein-free Dietary Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders|
|Study Start Date:||April 2006|
|Study Completion Date:||October 2008|
|Primary Completion Date:||October 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Experimental: Gluten- and casein-free diet
Stage 1: Gluten- and casein-free dietary intervention for first 8 or 12 months. 8 or 12 months: Interim analysis based on surpassing statistical thresholds. If showed group significant improvements then progressed to stage 2 (continued on a gluten- and casein-free diet for a further 12 months).
Other: Gluten- and casein-free diet
Removal of foods containing gluten (cereal produce) and casein (dairy produce)
Other Name: Gluten-free (wheat-free), casein- free (milk-free) diets
No Intervention: No dietary intervention
Stage 1: No special dietary intervention for first 8 or 12 months. 8 or 12 months: Interim analysis based on surpassing statistical thresholds. If gluten- and casein-free dietary group showed group significant improvements then progressed to stage 2 (introduction of a gluten- and casein-free diet for 12 months).
Eligibility criteria: diagnosis of autism, no co-morbid diagnosis of Fragile X syndrome, epilepsy or tuberous sclerosis, aged between 4-10y11m.
Experimental hypothesis: children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) on a GFCF diet would show a significantly improved group developmental outcome in the medium- and long-term with regards to core autism and/or secondary symptoms.
Main outcome measures: change in scores of dietary participants on one or more measures against predefined statistical thresholds as evidence of improvement, alongside changes to intra- and inter-group scores at study endpoint.
Main outcome measures ascertained by: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), Gillam Autism Rating Scale (GARS), Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales (VABS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - IV (ADHD-IV) scales.