Strong Kids

Broccoli Sprout Extract May Help with Autism

Oct. 15, 2014

sproutOne child out of every 68 born today will be diagnosed with autism. Because of that, research about the disorder and its potential treatments is growing and parents need to be informed consumers of the results.

A new study involving a leafy green vegetable got media attention for its results. The study, from Johns Hopkins and Harvard hospitals, shows a chemical derived from broccoli sprout could help treat symptoms of autism. Participants included 40 boys and men with the disorder that were studied over an 18 week period. Almost half of the patients treated with the chemical had "much improved" or "very much improved" social interaction and verbal communication. 

ABC News turned to Susan Hyman, M.D., chief of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital to find out what the results mean. Hyman, said that, while "the data is certainly worth pursuing," it's too soon to tell. "The trial needs to be replicated and evaluated in larger and more age diverse samples," Susan said. "Because we do not know the potential drug interactions or long term side effects, we would not want to encourage families to pursue treatment without guidance from their doctor." 

With the increasing number of autism diagnoses, this study provides great insight into the disorder, treatment, and the benefits of research. To learn more about how your gift can support autism programs and research at Golisano Children's Hospital, please call the Advancement office at (585) 273-5948.