Ecopipam study shows promise in treating stuttering
This week, researchers at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine – in collaboration with faculty at the University of Redlands – presented research at the American Psychiatric Association showing promising results of the novel medication, Ecopipam, in the treatment of stuttering. Presently, no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications exist for stuttering, and many patients do not respond to currently available speech therapies. Although preliminary, the results of this study suggest that further research of ecopipam in the treatment of stuttering is warranted.
Ecopipam is a first-in-class drug that selectively blocks the actions of the neurotransmitter dopamine at a unique receptor. Lending further evidence that dopamine-blocking medications are effective in treating stuttering, researchers from Yale University also presented a case of a patient with stuttering successfully treated with ziprasidone.
Stuttering, an interruption in the flow of speech, affects about three million Americans. With advances in medication research, the future looks bright for those who stutter to know they no longer need to live a life in silence.
Although medications such as ecopipam may prove to be useful in stuttering therapy, people who stutter can greatly benefit by becoming active in stuttering support groups such as those from the National Stuttering Association (NSA). As the NSA states, if you stutter, you are not alone.
Gerald Maguire, MD is a psychiatrist with UCR Health and chair of the psychiatry program at UC Riverside School of Medicine. View Dr. Gerald Maguire’s profile to learn more.