One in 94 boys in this state are diagnosed with what used to be considered a rare, untreatable disease.
But now a new placebo trial may have the answer in finding out which medications children with autism will better respond to -- allowing doctors to use more effective treatment.
Dr. Richard Frye, Director of Autism Research and Clinical Research Program Manager John
Slattery, are busy with a new autism study, at Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute, one that involves a reduced form of folate, which combat toxic molecules in the body.
"The previous studies were what we call open label studies - that is we gave the reduced form of folate in high doses to children to see if it appeared to be affective and safe," said Dr. Frye.
Dr. Frye said the reduced form of folates seemed to work, children could tolerate it and there were benefits.
"But we were not blind to the treatment, and of course being humans we all have bias and we want things to work, so now we've launched a double blind placebo trial."
That's where neither the doctor nor the patient knows whether the patient is receiving the drug or the placebo - showing doctors which one children respond better to.
Over a hundred children are needed to sign up for the trial.
"We are looking for kids between the years of 3 to 14 years of age, said Slattery."
And being committed has added benefits.
"Kids that are on the placebo during the 12 weeks trial are automatically eligible for phase 3 which is 24 weeks of folinic acid medication at no charge."
Weeks of commitment that will hopefully pair children with autism with just the right medication.
"So we can treat each child individually with the best treatment that's available."
Click here for more information on autism from the Arkansas Autism Alliance.
Click here for more information on how to sign up for the study.