A drug called oxytocin has been shown to have huge social and emotional benefits for autistic children.
Calling autism a disorder is a controversial subject in many circles, but a new drug aims to alleviate at least some of the downsides associated with children who have it.
Scientists have found that a five week treatment using the synthetic hormone oxytocin showed big improvements in social and emotional issues in children who have autism, according to a Financial Express report.
Researchers at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre in Australia conducted the study, which could provide a breakthrough for autistic kids who suffer from social impairments. The report noted that this is the first time there has bene a clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of oxytocin in autistic children.
The social aspect of autism has been its most challenging one, as kids with autism are considered in the medical community to have a complex brain development disorder that causes social interaction and communication to be impaired. Behavioral therapies can help, but it takes a lot of time, and they can be quite expensive. Also, it doesn’t always work.
A total of 31 children between 3 and 8 years of age were examined for this study. They were given a nasal spray with oxytocin twice each day, and researchers found that parents noticed that the child was much more socially responsive, which researchers also noticed, said Adam Guastella, associate professor at the Brain and Mind Centre, who was quoted in the report.
There were some side effects, including urination, thirst, and constipation, but the early results are quite promising, with most children tolerating it quite well.
The findings were published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.