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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: oxytocin

June 2011

Molecular mechanisms: Autism linked to small hypothalamus

by  /  17 June 2011

Children with autism have less brain matter than normal in a region that synthesizes the social hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, according to a study published 29 April in Biological Psychiatry.

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Molecular mechanisms: Metabolic changes increase risk of autism

by  /  8 June 2011

Children with autism have fewer DNA modifications that regulate gene expression compared with healthy siblings and controls, and show evidence of DNA damage, according to a study published 26 April in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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April 2011

Maternal stress alters behavior of generations

by  /  18 April 2011

Early trauma alters both behavior and gene expression in three generations of mice, suggesting that epigenetic changes may contribute to ‘hidden heritability’ in neuropsychiatric disorders.

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February 2011

Cognition and behavior: Serotonin pathway affects mouse behavior

by  /  22 February 2011

Mice that lack the gene for integrin β3, or ITGB3 — which regulates the levels of serotonin in the blood — groom themselves frequently and show less interest in stranger mice compared with controls, according to a study published in February in Autism Research as part of a special issue on mouse models in autism.

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November 2010

Prairie vole study finds new drug that boosts oxytocin

by  /  15 November 2010

A drug already in clinical trials as a tanning compound raises brain levels of oxytocin — a hormone and neurotransmitter involved in social bonding — researchers reported Sunday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego. Higher levels of oxytocin can help animals recognize their mates and turn to a friend for help, according to two posters presented at the meeting.

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Cognition and behavior: Oxytocin improves sensitivity to social cues

by  /  11 November 2010

Oxytocin may activate the mirror neuron system — a group of neurons that is active when people empathize with others — according to a paper published in the November Psychoneuroendocrinology.

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Uncharted territory

by  /  1 November 2010

Drug companies have been curiously reluctant to dive into research on therapies for autism. The chief of Pfizer’s new autism research unit explains why.

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October 2010

Reassuring restrictions

by  /  8 October 2010

Only people who already have social impairment benefit from oxytocin, researchers say.

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August 2010

Beware the hype

by  /  18 August 2010

If you believe the hype about oxytocin, it’s nothing short of a wonder drug: it can make you trust a stranger, enhance a mother’s bond with her child and, according to a study published earlier this year, improve social skills in individuals with autism. But look more closely, and there is ample cause for caution.

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Kevin Pelphrey: Charting the course of the social brain

by  /  17 August 2010

With robust training in developmental psychology and a techie’s fervor for new tools, Kevin Pelphrey is systematically investigating how the brain changes during development — starting in infants as young as 6 weeks old.

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