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The Role of Serotonin in Autism-Spectrum Disorders

  • Marc N. Potenza and Christopher J. Mcdougle

While the etiologies of pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) appear complicated, multifactorial, and relatively poorly understood research over the last 30 to 40 years has implicated certain neurochemicals in the pathophysiology of these diseases. From these studies, a great deal of evidence has emerged supporting a role for serotonergic dysfunction in individuals with autism and related disorders. Recent clinical trials of drugs influencing serotonergic systems have demonstrated promising effects in children, adolescents, and adults with PDDs.

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