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1- Neuroscience Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3- Research Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4- Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.
Objectives: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have impairments in emotion processing including recognizing emotional faces. There is a major need for medication to improve core symptoms of ASD. Bumetanide is one of the most recently used drugs in some studies in ASDs to address this need. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of bumetanide on the brain response of youth with ASD while they were recognizing emotional faces using the event related potentials (ERPs).
Methods: Fifteen youth with ASD aged between 7 to 16 years were evaluated using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children-Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL), Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised Form (WISC-R), and common blood tests. The electrical brain response was measured while they were doing a Facial Emotional Recognition Task (FERT). After 3 months of treatment, they were assessed again in terms of core symptoms and ERPs.
Results: The behavioral problems of the participants decreased significantly based on CARS. With regards to behavioral performance on FERT, the accuracy of detecting emotions increased and reaction time decreased significantly. The amplitude of N170, EPN, and N250 increased and latency for N170 and N250 decreased significantly in some electrodes. There were no serious side effects.
Conclusion: In this study, bumetanide improved behavioral symptoms as well as the ability to recognize emotions. Also, brain function was improved based on the ERP components. So, it can be concluded that bumetanide can be used safely in children and adolescents with ASD to improve the main symptoms of the disorder.

Type of Study: Original | Subject: Clinical Neuroscience
Received: 2022/02/6 | Accepted: 2023/05/22

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