Study hopes to find if oxytocin plays a role in autism

An oxytocin study being carried out at the Stanford University School of Medicine hopes to discover what role, if any, the hormone plays in causing autism.  The importance of oxytocin in forming social bonds is now widely documented.  At this stage, the inference that the ‘trust hormone’ might be lacking or in some way not working effectively in those with autism, is still no more than optimistic speculation.  If the researchers do, however, discover some kind of relationship, it is hoped that at the very least, blood tests could be introduced to enable a more objective and earlier diagnosis, and perhaps even the development of the first effective pharmaceutical treatments for autism.

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