Oct 14, 2021

Oxytocin does not improve social functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder, NIH-funded study suggests

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, neuroscience

Findings from study believed to be largest of its kind contradict smaller studies showing treatment’s promise.

Regular doses of the hormone oxytocin do not appear to overcome deficits in social functioning among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings contradict earlier reports that indicated the hormone could alleviate the difficulties in social functioning characteristic of ASD. Oxytocin is associated with empathy and social bonding. The study was conducted by Linmarie Sikich, M.D., of Duke University, and colleagues. It appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Funding was provided by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

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