Love hormones help autistic people socialize
Most people with autism have difficulty in communicating with others. However, at a meeting a few years ago, Simon Gregory, a molecular geneticist notes that the oxytocin hormone, which is also known as the love hormone could be used to help autistic children socialize with their surroundings.
In a research testing oxytocin performance, a neurologist Evdokia Anagnostou of Bloorview Research Institute, Toronto, gave oxytocin to a group of adults with autism and a placebo to the other group.
After giving the oxytocin hormone and placebo twice daily for six weeks, the researchers found that participants who used oxytocin sprays exhibit better behavior than participants who consumed a placebo. Researchers also did not see any bad side effects from the use of oxytocin.
Not only did they show good behavior to others, participants who used oxytocin also had a 20 percent better ability in reading and expressing emotions through pictures.
However, oxytocin had no effect on the way they communicate or reduce obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Anagnostou stressed that the oxytocin hormone is not a cure for autism.
“We’re not talking about healing autism. Problem of autism is a collection of disorders. We strive to reduce the symptoms little by little,” said Anagnoustu, as reported by Discover Magazine (01/04).
Although it can not cure autism, oxytocin sprays seem to be used to help autistic children or to socialize and communicate better with the surroundings and the people around them.