Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
A Complex Challenge, An Urgent Unmet Need
ASD refers to a group of complex neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction.
These symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning of individuals with ASD.
The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD.
Some children and adults with ASD are fully able to perform all activities of daily living while others require substantial support to perform basic activities.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (“DSM-5”) includes Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified (“PDD-NOS”) as part of ASD rather than as separate disorders.
A diagnosis of ASD includes an assessment of intellectual disability and language impairment.
ASD occurs in every racial and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels, although boys are significantly more likely to develop ASD than girls.
The core features of ASD include:
Impairments in social communication
Impairments in cognitive skills
Behavioral and emotional challenges
The Potential for a Brighter, More Independent Future
An important goal for families affected by ASD is to help their children progress into adulthood with more independence, a greater sense of well-being, and the chance for a higher quality of life. Too often — and for reasons that are multi-factorial and individual— adolescents with autism move into adulthood without the potential for more independence. Currently, there are behavioral, psychological, educational, and skill-building interventions — all important, but which meet with varying success.
It’s Time for Change
PaxMedica hopes to add an important new treatment option to improve the prospect of independence. Our lead product in development is a pharmacologic agent that addresses the cause and symptoms of autism. It has the potential to help adolescents and young adults lead brighter, more independent lives.
Lack of independence can contribute to a range of conditions and beliefs that lead adolescents and young adults with ASD to a lower quality of life, including:
- Social isolation
- Diminished belief in their own capabilities
- Anxiety disorders and depression
- Exacerbated health issues