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CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1871-5273
ISSN (Online): 1996-3181

Effects of Yokukansan, a Japanese Kampo Medicine for Symptoms Associated Autism Spectrum Disorder

Author(s): Rei Wake, Tsuyoshi Miyaoka, Motohide Furuya, Sadayuki Hashioka and Jun Horiguchi

Volume 15, Issue 5, 2016

Page: [551 - 563] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/1871527315666160413120541

Price: $65


A neuropsychiatric syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is qualified via impairments in qualitative communication, social interaction, and stereotyped or restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. While all ASDs are considered to have qualitative deficits in social relatedness to others, many people with ASDs have other symptoms, including irritability (which includes aggression, self-injurious behavior, and severe tantrums). In order to decrease these behaviors, it is often helpful to make use of behavioral therapy. In addition, due to the intensity and severity of irritability, adjunctive medications are sometimes needed. Although many of the adjunctive medications have been tested and demonstrated to be useful in treating ASD, no clear standardized treatment has emerged. While the adjunctive medications have shown efficacy, the associated side effects have proven to be a barrier to their accepted use. A traditional Japanese medicine, Yokukansan (YKS), is composed of seven kinds of dried herbs and is widely clinically prescribed for treating psychiatric disorders by acting mainly on the glutamatergic and serotonergic nervous systems. YKS may be safe and useful in treating dementia patients’ behavioral and psychological symptoms according to indications from recent studies. We introduce in this review, the ameliorative effects of YKS on Asperger's disorder in open-label studies and on ASDs including pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). This review will suggest that YKS is well tolerated and effective for the treatment for subjects with ASD who have severe hyperactivity/noncompliance and irritability/agitation. Additionally, the serotonergic, glutamatergic, anti-inflammatory and neurogenesis effects are explored which are thought to be involved in the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of YKS.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, irritability, Yokukansan.

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