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>Oxytocin and Autism: New Information

April 4, 2010

>In “Oxytocin receptor (OXTR) does not play a major role in the aetiology of autism: Genetic and molecular studies,” Tansey et al. (2010) write (abstract only):

“Oxytocin (OXT) has been hypothesized to play a role in aetiology of autism based on a demonstrated involvement in the regulation of social behaviours. It is postulated that OXT reduces activation of the amygdala, inhibiting social anxiety, indicating a neural mechanism for the effects of OXT in social cognition. Genetic variation at the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) has been reported to be associated with autism…Data presented here does not support the role of common genetic variation in OXTR in the aetiology of autism spectrum disorders in Caucasian samples.”

Interesting. Of course, there’s lots of work to be done, and sample sizes have been small in all the studies, either in favor of a a genetic variation or disconfirming a link.

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One Comment
  1. April 4, 2010 2:42 pm

    >I first heard of oxytocin used because of autism in this one National Geographic article in February 2006. It was this article about love and the chemical reasons for such. They had gotten to marriages that had lasted a long time and brought up oxytocin as the reason why the couples in these marriages had stayed together for so long. They then mentioned autism as a disorder impairing social connections and brought up oxycontin as a treatment for such. The Othering kind of language was annoying to me as well as the underlying assumption that autistics, because they were autistic, wouldn't get married and get some oxytocin in their system that way.

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