Early Intervention and Treatment Approaches for Autism (David Beversdorf, MD)
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Early Intervention and Treatment Approaches for Autism (David Beversdorf, MD)


I’m David Quinten Beversdorf. I’m a physician scientist and I am involved
in the clinical care in research in autism. You could have someone who has
superior intelligence with autism and yet they still struggle in a lot of areas. Initially, I was looking into the neuropsychology
to understand why that was and then it dawned upon me that
it’s a really good question to ask: “What can be done about that?” The best thing we have out
there is early intervention. Not everybody gets early intervention
and even if you do, some children still struggle. We would really like to be able to
add something to that picture and find something that is safe and effective
from the pharmacological standpoint. One of the problems that has come up in working
with autism and trying to develop treatment approaches is that our clinical trials, our
first two major ones, have failed. That is very likely because there
is not just one autism. There are many many different
contributing factors in autism, and these absolutely need to be
taken into account when exploring this. We are monitoring a number of factors, so those who have greater anxiety at baseline, ones that have prenatal stress as a risk factor, and more generally, we need to take
this into account for all of our studies. With proper accounting for these kinds of
biomarkers and proper sub-typing, I think we can really make a lot more progress and
not incorrectly reject a study drug when in fact it may have helped
a small percentage of patients, We just need to find out who those patients are. It is incredibly important to me because I
see these patients in clinic. I see the struggles they go through. After becoming very interested in this, I’ve
met the families, I’ve met the patients. If I can help them I’ll be a much happier
person.

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