In Large Study, Oxytocin Shows No Social Skills Benefit for Children with Autism
[Source: Science Daily]
Oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone that acts as a chemical messenger in the brain, showed no evidence of helping children with autism gain social skills, according to a large national study appearing Oct. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
While disappointing for those holding hope that oxytocin could benefit children with autism, the long-awaited finding provides clarity for a drug that has shown mixed outcomes in smaller, less robust studies.
“There was a great deal of hope this drug would be effective,” said the study’s principal investigator and lead author, Linmarie Sikich, M.D., associate consulting professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine. “All of us on the study team were hugely disappointed, but oxytocin does not appear to change social function of people with autism.”
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