Jan 18, 2019 | Updated: 08:24 AM EST

What Love Hormone Oxytocin Can Do For Autism

Oct 28, 2015 11:06 PM EDT


In a recent study by researchers from Australia, the team found a miracle drug for autism, the love hormone, oxytocin. They found that oxytocin-laced nasal spray utilized by children with autism improved their social, behavioural and emotional aspects.

In a study participated by 31 children between three and eight years old, parents were asked to allow their children to utilize the oxytocin-laced nasal spray twice a day for five weeks. Although the study revealed that there were some side effects (commonly reported included constipation, thirst and urination), youngster showed greater progress with regard to their emotional, social and behavioural routines compared with those not taking the spray.

"What we think it is doing is increasing the salience of social cues, and helping the brain get more effective at understanding and responding to these cues," associate professor Adam Guastella from the University of Sydney said. Researchers found that improvement in social behaviour is a result of any alterations in the brain responsible for it.

"The potential to use such simple treatments to enhance the longer-term benefits of other behavioral, educational and technology-based therapies is very exciting," Ian Hickie said, co-author and co-director from the University of Sydney Brain and Center Media.

As of the moment, behavioural therapy is the only treatment for social impairments; however, the process is not only time consuming but also expensive. But this study about the possible potentials of oxytocin is "the first time that medication has ever been shown to improve social interaction skill. These results tell us that we've got something that seems to be working for a portion of people and is doing something which hasn't been done before," Guastella said.

"Brain and Mind Centre researchers have long been stating that oxytocin enhances eye gaze, emotion recognition and memory across a range of populations," According to NYC Today,  

The study is published in the journal of Molecular Psychiatry.

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