Branched-Chain Amino Acids as Adjunctive-alternative Treatment in Patients with Autism: a pilot study.

Publication date: Jul 10, 2023

The Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) is a group of essential amino acids that are involved in maintaining the energy balance of a human being as well as the homeostasis of GABAergic, glutamatergic, serotonergic and dopaminergic systems. Disruption of these systems has been associated with the pathophysiology of autism while low levels of these amino acids have been discovered in patients with autism. A pilot open-label, prospective, follow-up study of the use of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in children with autistic behavior was carried out. 55 children between the ages of 6 and 18 participated in the study from May 2015 to May 2018. We used a carbohydrate-free branched-chain amino acid powdered mixture containing 45. 5 g of leucine, 30 g of isoleucine, and 24. 5 g of valine in a daily dose of 0,4gr/Kg of body weight which was administered every morning. Following the initiation of BCAA administration, children were submitted to a monthly psychological examination. Beyond the 4-week mark, BCAAs were given to 32 people (58. 18%). Six of them (10. 9%) discontinued after four to ten weeks owing to lack of improvement. The remaining 26 children (47. 27%) who took BCAAs for longer than 10 weeks displayed improved social behavior and interactions, as well as improvements in their speech, cooperation, stereotypy, and principally, their hyperactivity. There were no adverse reactions reported during the course of the treatment. Although these data are very preliminary, there is some evidence that BCAAs could be used as adjunctive treatment to conventional therapeutic methods for the management of autistic children.

Concepts Keywords
Autism autism
Carbohydrate brain energy balance
Monthly Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Morning glutamate
Pilot serotonin


Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Amino acids
disease MESH Autism
drug DRUGBANK Isoxaflutole
drug DRUGBANK L-Leucine
drug DRUGBANK L-Isoleucine
drug DRUGBANK L-Valine
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
drug DRUGBANK Serotonin

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