New Treatment Being Tested for Autism Spectrum Disorder 18-week Trial Seeking Male Participants

Jennifer Forbes
Communications & Public Affairs

July 19, 2016

New Brunswick, NJ – Males who have autism are invited to take part in a treatment trial to see if sulforaphane, a chemical found naturally in certain vegetables such as broccoli, improves core symptoms in autism such as verbal communication, social interaction and abnormal behavior, as measured by scales commonly used in autism.

Led by William G. Johnson, MD, professor of neurology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the clinical trial is being done with the support of the New Jersey Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism and the New Jersey Department of Health.

The treatment trial will be an 18-week, double blind placebo-controlled study open to male adolescents and adults between the ages of 13 and 30 with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition to the sulforaphane treatment, a small amount of blood will be drawn at each visit, and urine samples will be taken at the beginning and end of the treatment.

To determine its effectiveness, the researchers will look at differences in treatment response based on changes to the genes used by the body to metabolize sulforaphane.

In addition the researchers will test for specific chemicals and genes needed for sulforaphane usage to try to understand differences in response.

Interested participants or caregivers may call Dr. Johnson or the study coordinator, Edward S. Stenroos, with questions and for additional information at (732) 235-5490. Interested individuals will be asked a few questions to assess eligibility for the study. Invitation to participate in the study will be based upon the responses to these questions. Not all individuals will be eligible to participate.

About Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

As one of the nation's leading comprehensive medical schools, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, health care delivery, and the promotion of community health. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the medical school's principal affiliate, comprise one of the nation's premier academic medical centers. In addition, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has 34 other hospital affiliates and ambulatory care sites throughout the region.

Part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School encompasses 21 basic science and clinical departments, hosts centers and institutes including The Cardiovascular Institute, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey and the Women’s Health Institute. The medical school maintains educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels on its campuses in New Brunswick and Piscataway and provides continuing education courses for health care professionals and community education programs. To learn more about Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, visit Find us online at and