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Forty boys and young men, ages 13 to 27, with moderate to severe autism, were treated for 18 weeks with a daily dose of either a placebo or sulforaphane, a plant chemical derived from broccoli sprouts.
Researchers say that many of those taking sulforaphane substantially improved in several aspects of their behavior during treatment.
In contrast to most previously tested remedies that work to ameliorate the behavioral manifestations of autism, sulforaphane seems to target the basic mechanisms of the disorder.