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New Autism Drug Balovaptan Being Tested in U.S.-Wide Trial

A first-of-a-kind autism drug is being tested in a U.S.-wide clinical trial that includes 300 children and teens with high functioning autism.

Researchers are assessing if the drug, balovaptan, can help improve social behavior in youngsters with autism. Previous research found that the drug helped adults with autism, CBS News reported.

"There are not any approved treatments for what we think of as the core symptoms of autism all of the social difficulties, repetitive behaviors and the ability to function in everyday life," said Dr. Eric Hollander, director, Autism and Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Program, Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

Even if it's effective, the new drug would be just one part of treatment, he noted.

"There would still be need for speech therapy, occupational therapy, educational interventions, behavioral interventions," Hollander told CBS News.

There is no cure for autism, which affects 1 in 68 children in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Posted: April 2018

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