An ongoing study for teens diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is looking for patients in the Phoenix area.

The study, which is run by numerous medical facilities including the University of Arizona, Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, Yale University and more, is seeking teenagers with autism aged 13-17.

The most recent research was released in February 2022 by Nature Medicine. Individuals with autism have changes in the bacterial byproducts in the gut in comparison to other controlled populations. The different gut bacterial byproducts can affect immunity, metabolism and behavior of individuals with autism, the study reported.

“The lack of safe and effective treatment options for co-occurring conditions associated with [Autism Spectrum Disorder], such as irritability and anxiety, exacerbate the daily challenges faced by children and their families,” Robert Hendren, principal investigator for Phase 2, wrote in the study.

To ease the behavioral patterns those with autism portray, doctors are studying an oral medicine called AB-2004 that interacts or binds with molecules in the gut bacterial byproducts and is believed to relieve anxiety-driven behaviors.

Phase 1b/2a of the clinical trial took place in New Zealand and Australia and presented positive results. The trial is moving forward into Phase 2b and is expanding nationwide.

“I am encouraged by the data from the first human study of AB-2004, and I look forward to assessing its potential as a safe alternative to atypical antipsychotics currently used to treat irritability associated with autism,” Hendren said.

Eligible participants will either receive regular doses of the AB-2004 medication powder or placebo, the U.S. National Library of Medicine noted.

The study will consist of taking the given medication three-times daily for eight weeks and attending six office visits over the course of 14-16 weeks. Southwestern Autism Research and Resource Center is the local participating office, located at 2225 N. 16th St., Phoenix.

Interested parents may enroll their children at