Brain Function in Children with Autism Improved by a Single Spray of Oxytocin
[Source: Medical News Today]
A single dose of the hormone oxytocin, delivered via nasal spray, has been shown to enhance brain activity while processing social information in children with autism spectrum disorders, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“This is the first study to evaluate the impact of oxytocin on brain function in children with autism spectrum disorders,” said first author Ilanit Gordon, a Yale Child Study Center postdoctoral fellow, whose colleagues on the study included senior author Kevin Pelphrey, the Harris Professor in the Child Study Center, and director of the Center for Translational Developmental Neuroscience at Yale.
Gordon, Pelphrey, and their colleagues conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 17 children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. The participants, between the ages of 8 and 16.5, were randomly given either oxytocin spray or a placebo nasal spray during a task involving social judgments. Oxytocin is naturally occurring hormone produced in the brain and throughout the body.
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