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Sulforaphane for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The purpose of this research study is to determine if sulforaphane, a nutritional supplement made from broccoli sprout and seed extracts, is safe and effective for treating symptoms of autism in young men with moderate to severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants will take sulforaphane or placebo tablets for a total of 12 weeks, and caregivers will complete behavioral rating scales related to autism. We are also studying the effects of taking sulforaphane on the gut microbiome (bacteria in the digestive tract).


Autism Spectrum, Behavior, Developmental Disorders, Mental Health, Microbiome, Neurological Disorders, Pediatrics, Teens


Drug or Biologic



13 - 30 years


Study Population

Young men with moderate to severe autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between the ages of 13 and 30 years old


Joseph Piven
Distinguished Professor
Psychiatry - General

For questions, contact:

Jessica Blanks
(919) 962-8462

Recruitment Period End

December 31, 2019


Primary Location
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities
101 Renee Lynne Ct, Carrboro, NC 27510, USA

Study Qualifications

Gender Male

Age Range 13 - 30 years

Participant qualification(s) Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, has a guardian or parent who is able to complete questionnaires, has a caregiver who is able to speak English.

Not eligible if: Has had a seizure in the past year, has had behavioral medication or treatment changes in the past 2 weeks, is planning a medication or treatment change in the near future, is taking an anti-inflammatory medication on a regular basis (such as a corticosteroid), has a major medical illness that would make research participation unsafe, does not have transportation to a clinic in Carrboro.

Number of Visits

    » 6 In person visit(s)

    1 screening clinic visit, 5 monitoring clinic visits

    » 1 Remote visit(s)

    One phone call at week 2

Participation Period

16 weeks


$30 per visit for caregivers and $20 per visit for participants (supplied as a check)

By clicking I am interested, your contact information will be sent to the researcher/study coordinator for this study. The coordinator will respond by email with additional information on how to proceed.