A Reason for Optimism, or for Heartburn?
Mack B. Stephenson - United States Naval Hospital
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Lt. Mack B. Stephenson, U.S. Naval Hospital, Commanding Officer, PSC 482, FPO AP 96362-1600.
Linday, Tsiourisis, Cohen, Shindledecker, and DeCresce (2001) recently reported that in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, 4 of 9 children with autistic spectrum disorders showed evidence of symptom improvement with oral famotidine (Pepcid). This article critically examines their study and finds significant weaknesses in the methods and measures used. There are also concerns that the authors did not adequately protect the blinding of raters, and that this methodological flaw could at least partially account for their results. The potential effect of autism outcome research is briefly discussed and recommendations for future research are proffered.