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2011-10-12

L-Carnitine Helps Treat Autism Spectrum Disorders

Previously, L-carnitine was proposed as a potential treatment for patients diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to improve mitochondrial dysfunction, but no prior randomized controlled trials had been conducted.

This is the basis behind why this study was conducted. Subjects diagnosed with an ASD were randomly assigned to receive a standardized regimen of L-carnitine 50 mg L-carnitine/kg bodyweight/day) or placebo for 3 months.

Measures included changes in professionally completed Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), hand muscle testing, and modified (CGI) forms; parent completed (ATEC), treatment adherence measurement (TAM), frequency and intensity of side effect rating (FISER)/global rating of side effect burden (GRSEB)/patient report of incidence of side effects (PRISE) forms; and lab testing.

After 3 months, the L-carnitine group showed significant improvements in Childhood Autism Rating Scale, clinical global impression, and Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist scores. Significant correlations between changes in serum free-carnitine levels and positive clinical changes were observed for hand muscle strength, cognitive scores, and Childhood Autism Rating Scale scores. Study subjects were protocol-compliant (average adherence was >85%) and the L-carnitine therapy was generally well-tolerated.

Source: A prospective double-blind, randomized clinical trial of levocarnitine to treat autism spectrum disorders

Judging by the proposed mechanism of action (improving mitochondrial dysfunction), I'd say another essential therapeutic agents would include CoQ10 (ideally ubiquinol), magnesium, a B-complex (especially B1 and B2), alpha-lipoic acid (stabilized), creatine monohydrate, L-arginine, and D-ribose... all in a daily cocktail to help the mitochondria function as efficiently as possible.

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