There are a limited number of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications for the treatment of autism. Meanwhile, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are supposed to play a causative role in autism. N-acetylcysteine may provide cystine, a precursor for glutathione (GSH), which is an important antioxidant factor in the brain. We here report a child with autism, whose symptoms were markedly decreased after taking oral N-acetylcysteine 800 mg/day, in three divided doses. His social interaction was significantly increased. The score of social impairment on a visual analog scale decreased from 10 to 6 in the two-month trial. The aggressive behaviors decreased from 10 to 3. This case suggests that N-acetylcysteine may decrease some symptoms of autism.
N-acetylcysteine is cheap and available over-the-counter.