A new oxytocin treatment is beneficial for autistic kids according to a study ran by the Brain and Mind center in Sydney, Australia. The impressive find is the first evidence of a medical treatment for the social issues that children suffering from autism face.
The drug is administered in the form of a nasal spray and requires a five week treatment course. So far only behavioral therapies have been used to try and improve the social and emotional impairments that autistic children exhibit, however, these therapies are time consuming, costly and often vary in terms of results.
The clinical trial in the case of this oxytocin treatment has shown that the hormone enhances social responsiveness and positive emotional behaviors in autistic children and teenagers and helps with relaxation and trust.
As well as the encouraging reports concerning the increase in social behaviors, it has been found that the drug has very few side effects, the very worst of possibilities being thirst, constipation and urination. So far these seem to be very mild.
The positive results of the use of this oxytocin hormone therapy are very welcome news since the available treatments are limited and their effectiveness varies. This is partly because of the many existing forms of autism and the complexity and variation of the symptoms.
Autism affects one in every 68 children and is in fact comprised of a multitude of mental developmental disorders. It has various symptoms ranging from impairments in social interaction, behavioral issues and emotional and communicational problems, as well as stereotypical or repetitive behavioral patterns.
As for the treatment, it’s surprisingly basic form a medical point of view. Oxytocin is a hormone produced naturally by mammals in the hypothalamus and stored in the posterior pituitary gland. It helps in the reproduction for both sexes and plays an important part in intimacy.
The hormone has been used in several medical treatments before and is considered and essential medication. Its effects on human interaction have been studied before as it plays an important role in various behaviors such as social recognition, emotional bonding, anxiety and even sexual gratification and sexual response.
The fact that the hormone can be successfully used in improving autistic children’s social responsiveness and mental soundness makes perfect sense as it has been used for such a long time to treat emotional issues and lower anxiety and stress. Oxytocin has been dubbed the love hormone because of the importance it has in maintaining emotional well-being and successful bonds between partners.
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