Adults with ASD may benefit from oxytocin therapy
Oxytocin showed beneficial effects on socio-communicational deficits among men with autism spectrum disorder, according to study results published in JAMA Psychiatry.
Researchers conducted a double blind, randomized, crossover within-subject trial in which 40 highly functioning men with ASD were administered a single dose of oxytocin and a placebo. The effects of oxytocin on participants’ behavioral neural responses were examined while they completed a social and psychological task.
In the control study, participants with ASD were less likely to make nonverbal-based judgments about social communication and had a longer response time. Researchers found oxytocin enabled participants to make nonverbal-based judgments more frequently and with a shorter response time. Oxytocin increased brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, which researchers noted was lacking during the control study.
“This study demonstrates that intranasal administration of oxytocin enables highly functioning individuals with ASD to exhibit more typical and smoother behavioral responses to social communication for which verbal and nonverbal information is conflicting through employing typical brain responses,” Takamitsu Watanabe, MD, of the University of Tokyo, and colleagues wrote.Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.