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Glossary Item Description

α-adrenergic-antagonists (alpha blockers) are a type of drug called adrenergic antagonists.


β-adrenergic-antagonists (beta blockers) are a type of drug called adrenergic antagonists.

ω-3 Fatty Acids

ω-3 fatty acids is another term for omega 3 fatty acids, which are sometimes taken as a supplement.

2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid

2,3-Dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid is another term for DMPS, a synthetic chemical used as a chelating agent to remove heavy metals from the body.

22q13.3 Deletion Syndrome

22q13.3 deletion syndrome, also known as Phelan-McDermid syndrome, is a condition caused by the loss of a small piece of chromosome 22.


3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, commonly known as MDMA, is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences.

5-formyl tetrahydrofolate

5-formyl tetrahydrofolate is another term for folinic acid, an active form of folate, which is another term for Vitamin B-9, which is one of the B-group of vitamins

5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)

5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) is another term for serotonin, a hormone and neurotrasmitter found in many tissues, including blood platelets, intestinal mucosa, the pineal body, and the central nervous system.


5-hydroxytryptophan is a dietary supplement made from the seeds of the African plant Griffonia simplicifolia.

5-Methoxy-N-Acetyltryptamine Acetamide

5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine acetamide is another term for melatonin, the hormone which regulates our biological clock.

A to Z or A-Z method

The A to Z or A-Z  method is a form of video modelling, in which videos are used to teach a range of skills to individuals with autism, such as how to interpret facial expressions.


AAC is an acronym for augmentative and alternative communication, which refers to the different ways (other than speech) that people use to communicate with each other.


AAT is an acronym for animal-assisted therapy, which is any therapy that involves a person interacting with animals.


ABA is an acronym for applied behaviour analysis. ABA is also sometimes used to refer to some comprehensive, multi-component programmes (especially early intensive behavioural programmes such as the University of California at Los Angeles Young Autism Project model).


Abilify is a brand name for aripiprazole, a type of antipsychotic medication sometimes used to treat problem behaviours in people on the autism spectrum.

Academic Skills

Academic skills are the skills needed to do well in an educational setting such as a school or university.


Acamprosate is a drug which is used, along with counselling and social support, to help people who have stopped drinking large amounts of alcohol and to help them avoid drinking alcohol again.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy is a form of mindfulness-based therapy, theorising that greater well-being can be attained by overcoming negative thoughts and feelings.


Acetyl-l-carnitine is another name for carnitine, a compound which helps in the consumption and disposal of fat in the body and which is sometimes taken as a nutritional supplement


Acetylcholine is a natural chemical which acts as a neurotransmitter in the peripheral nervous system and also in the central nervous system.

About This Glossary

This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..

You may be able to find more information, including links to other parts of this website, by clicking on the title of an item.

If you can't find the word you are looking for, or you know of a word we should include, please email info@researchautism.net


The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.