Friday, December 6, 2013

Oxytocin as treatment for autism?

I didn't realize that some parents were already treating their autistic children with oxytocin. The NY Times reports that this practice has been recently supported by the results of a recent study:

[T]he small study, published Monday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the hormone, given as an inhalant, generated increased activity in parts of the brain involved in social connection. This suggests not only that oxytocin can stimulate social brain areas, but also that in children with autism these brain regions are not irrevocably damaged but are plastic enough to be influenced.
***
“What this shows is that the brains of people with autism aren’t incapable of responding in a more typical social way.”

In the new study, conducted by the Yale Child Study Center, 17 children, ages 8 to 16, all with mild autism, got a spray of oxytocin or a placebo (researchers did not know which, and in another session each child received the other substance). The children were placed in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, an f.M.R.I., and given a well-established test of social-emotional perception: matching emotions to photographs of people’s eyes. They took a similar test involving objects, choosing if photos of fragments of vehicles corresponded to cars, trucks, and so on.

During the “eyes” test, brain areas involved in social functions like empathy and reward — less active in children with autism — showed more activity after taking oxytocin than after placebo. Also, during the “vehicles” tests, oxytocin decreased activity in those brain areas more than the placebo, a result that especially excited some experts.

“If you can decrease their attention to a shape or object so you can get them to pay attention to a social stimulus, that’s a big thing,” said Deborah A. Fein, a psychology professor at the University of Connecticut.

With oxytocin, the children did not do better on the social-emotional test, unlike in some other studies. But experts said that was not surprising, given the difficulty of answering challenging questions while staying still in an f.M.R.I.

“What I would look for is more evidence of looking in the eyes of parents, more attention to what parents are saying, less tendency to lecture parents on their National Geographic collection,” Dr. Fein said.

But before ya'll go running out to buy over the counter oxytocin, beware these warnings:

A study of healthy men found that oxytocin made them more biased against outsiders. And when people with borderline personality disorder took oxytocin, they became more distrustful, possibly because they were already socially hypersensitive.

I wonder what the neurodiversity thinks about the idea of curing autism by making them ore interested in people and less interested in cars, trucks, and National Geographic. Are people objectively more interesting than vehicles and well-respected science/culture magazines? Is that what we mean by autism "disorder"? And if that's true, does that mean that we should all be medicating ourselves, since some people think that we're all somewhere on the autism spectrum? And where is the sweet spot on the spectrum that we should all be trying to achieve?

Speaking of messing with people's brains to achieve random subjective results, this article on recent research suggesting that brains stimulated in a particular way appreciate art more (at least representational art).

52 comments:

  1. I have no idea whats going on. But, i laughed out loud at this part:

    "What I would look for is more evidence of looking in the eyes of parents, more attention to what parents are saying, less tendency to lecture parents on their National Geographic collection,” Dr. Fein said.

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  2. Yay we have found M.E's cure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w_XuOBnUAg

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  3. Autistic people can't support themselves.

    The doctors are trying to give them a chance at having a normal life. (having a job and not always relying on someone else)

    You're like 40 years old, you should know this.

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    Replies
    1. Autistic people could support themselves if those who devote all this time and effort to "fixing" autistic people devoted the same time and effort to fixing society's perception that anyone who isn't super-happy-sociable needs to be fixed.

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    2. @ anon 3:10 AM- Dr. Ginger just sent me some advice for you; Dear concerned anon 3: 10 AM, go get some sleep you do not need to be up at 3 AM, worrying about autistic people. You seem bothered and bitter, did one of them mentally messed with you? That’s OK, take some chill pills. You know those autistic people, don’t have much emotion. But we, neurotypicals, are so passionate, and packed with all kinds of emotions; irrational fear, jealousy, hate, prejudice, love, love, love, so much that if we don’t get each others comforting company, we may totally lose it. In fact, our love and passion sometimes goes so out of control that I thought to contact this company and ask them, if they are planning to produce some oxytocin suppressants for us, neurotypicals, in future. Demands are high, they may!
      But my dear, go back to bed. If you are up because you are in love with one of them, or screwed one of them and feel terribly guilty about it. Don’t worry; they don’t give a damn about you. In fact, most of them can’t even hold grudges more than few days. You know it takes passion, to take revenge. They just don’t have it. I feel so sorry for them!
      Still, if you are worried and concerned about them. I recommend, you talk to some other concerned people like yourself. Share your worries and fears with them. Contact your local authorities and encourage them to take actions against these people. You know, “Good doers” like you with their “holy missions” will be remembered in history.

      Thoughtfully,
      Dr. Ginger

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    3. Anon @ 9:23 erotic transference ^ leave her alone

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    4. As a Superchick, I am sure, you know a lot about eroticism. So, the girl at 3: 00 AM was you. Sorry I went a little too harsh on you. Yes, 3: 00 AM is perfect for practicing erotic stuff. You go girl! Next time, post some of your erotic videos here for us too.

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    5. as a superchick, i will only give myself to a man who is deserving of me. NO, I will not show you my hot steamy erotic videos, it might just give you a heart attack at 3AM. you really are an arse, and a bully. nice deflection though. gotta give it to you there. ;)

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    6. Well, I’m sorry. I just thought you may like that better than selling gingerbread and lemonade for Dr. Ginger.

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    7. lol, yr such a dr. ginger erotic transference lover, how are you gunna get over her. what must it take for you to leave this erotic fetish of yours alone. if she makes you some lemonade and gingerbread cookies with icing titties for xxx-mas will you leave this poor doc alone. you know what i mean. she's wanted here. and you are too. play by the rules. BE NICE gingerbread tittie man.

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    8. catch yr Z's. we shouldn't have conv's this late at night. ;)

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    9. Hey Super Chickflick flick,

      1- First, do not do any red herring.
      2- Do not try to frame me as Dr. ginger lover: he is just a retarded narcissist, and you only a retarded chick
      3- I found his initial “lemonade/keywords” stand distasteful, so I mocked it, in a much healthier way. There were no transferences. What this Dr.ginger did in his initial posts was very abusive, somewhat retarded, and a little pathetic.
      4. I am out of here: You two do not play anymore dirty retarded games. It benefits no one. Do not trespass and you will not be trespassed. Bye

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    10. deal.

      @ anon 7:05 AM

      1. 2. 3. 4. l'll take the advise ;) As long as you take your own advise as well. and for number 4. dont leave, play fair. dont bully Dr. G. or else my fists are up, and i do step in territory. she's human, as you are. retard is such a distasteful word.

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    11. Oh, I'm sure he / she / it / they will be back, only under a new 'anonymous' guise or as their regular SW username.

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  4. Drugs are a cruch. They are unneeded except to fend off
    immenant death.
    I'm scared for M.E, She may engage in many interesting activities
    and have a "full" day, but she has no ability to love or be loved.
    The years wip by, and before you know it M.E.'s an old maid and
    wonders where her life went. So what if she has money? Lizzie Bordon had money.
    M.E. is afraid to let her gaurd down. This is understandable in light of
    the fact that there is no "safe" person, and no safe place. You have only
    to look at the tragety of the Math teacher raped and murdered in her
    own place of employment by the 14 year old to see this.
    M.E. would love to see the smiling face of one of her own children
    looking up at her. She's what, 30 years old? My own sister-in-law had
    her first when she was 32. M.E. (And other folks reading this) just
    doesn't know who to trust. Intellect is NOT enough. That's only one
    measure of intelligence. M.E. needs someone with "S.Q." Spiritual
    Quotient.
    The Mormons have a lot of stuff right, but also a lot of stuff wrong.
    Wearing that goofy underware? Is that going to change anything?
    No, what M.E. needs is a high quality person, not a thrilling "flavor of
    the mounth." She needs a person that's in it for the long haul. ONLY A
    PERSON WHO SEEKS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN FIRST.
    Where can M.E. (And you) find such a person? "New Life Foundation"
    in Arizona.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey enough with the "old maid" stuff. People date, and meet new people at any age. Have you seen the senior dating sites?

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    2. Nelson Mandela was a good man.Why always focus on the negative, believe it or not, there's actually a lot of good and beauty in life.

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    3. Old Nelson is frying in hell as we speak.

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  5. I can't help but notice there is a lot of projecting on to this author and other sociopaths by those who leave comments. It seems like several people now have suggested to her to have children and that it will be healing for her. Although it's a misconception that sociopaths are completely devoid of emotion, the fact is they will never experience things psychologically and emotionally the way that you do. They may have an intellectual understanding of something, but psychologically it just won't be experienced the same. Having a child has never healed a sociopath. If it did, we wouldn't have sociopaths in the world.

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  6. How is this any different from any other manipulation of baseline personality via meds?

    I say- if it improves quality of life for patient and those associated it should be an option.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely true. We all deserve a chance at creating a life that is meaningful and acceptable to us. Who has the right to tell M.E., or anyone else what that life should look like? If she wants a child she should have one, and if she decides not to, good for her! I think she knows what's best for her life. Certainly none of us do.

      I have a friend who's a sociopath, and meditation and intense exercise helps her 'get a little more connected,' at some level. I myself, have suffered from depression since childhood(and BPD) have FINALLY found 70-80% relief through bio-identical progesterone cream from a compounding pharmacy,metholated folate( recently scientifically proven to improve depression), meditation, exercise, GOOD therapy(cognitively based, emotionally supported in a healthy way NOT received in my childhood), spirituality(that's meaningful to me!), a loving family that I created with my husband and children.

      This has been a loooong path for me, but I'm finding what works for me, and nobody is going to fuck with that! I believe the research on oxytocin may help some children/people. Each individual is unique and their will never be one solution that will 'fit' all people.

      The fact that the scientific researchers care to help autistic children , to me, is a good thing. And the fact that M.E. also cares to bring it to our attention and make good decisions for her life is also a good thing.(and yes, someone already posted here today, at some level she does care. This is very important to her to make the right decision. Let's support her in HER decision.)

      Delete
    2. M.E's clearly trolling her/his own blog visitors.

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    3. Yeah, I see that. There's no positive place one can go on this site. Moving on to new horizons. Enjoy your misery!

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    4. Sorry to have wasted your time.

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    5. It's not ok. Our intense focus on our interests, as opposed to socializing is what allows us to *maybe* be able to enter the workplace , and in any case to reach a level of knowledge no NT is capable of acquiring (sorry, NTs, yes everybody thinks you're dumb). Take our intense focus away and help us be a little more social and we become mediocre neurotypicals. I would rather die.

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  7. Here's an interesting article on oxytocin, and why this may be more of a complex issue than a quick fix to make everyone lovey dovey

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cerebral-vortex/201111/oxytocin-revisited

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nobody has metioned the psychology to day thing here?
    Its a great, addition, ME!

    ReplyDelete
  9. If we were all somewhere on the autism spectrum, then there'd be no reason to believe that any deviation from the 'norm' (which is simply to say the neurological group which makes up the bulk of the population) can be labelled as a disorder.

    If individual aspies, socios, and people with other autistic or personality 'disorders' want to receive treatment to become more like 'normal' people, then I see no reason why they shouldn't be allowed to. So if some autistic people want this oxytocin treatment because they feel it would improve their lives, go ahead, but it's hard to see any objective improvement in becoming more neurotypical.

    One final thought, if all these neurological variations are all on this spectrum of human personality types, then there should be no difference in acceptability between this oxytocin treatment which makes autistic people more 'normal' and a hypothetical (and presumably currently sci-fi) 'treatment' for making 'normals' more autistic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are things that make the neurotypical more autistic-organised religion and right wing politics come to mind immediately.

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    2. @ psykopath-l-logical- HA! both funny and very true.

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  10. https://www.facebook.com/catzu.cristi this guy is a sociopath.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody gave a shit the last time you posted the exact same message and link on here, so I thought I'd give you a bit of attention this time around, just so you don't go away disappointed again.

      So you're friends with this guy are you? Pranking your friend isn't very nice, you know >:-( Or perhaps he really is a sociopath and, feeling victimised by him, you've decided to enact your revenge and tell the world what he is! Either way, I'm sure he'd appreciate having his FB profile splashed all over Sociopath World if he knew about it.

      Or maybe *you* are Cristi and you just want some recognition from the good people on this site. A little 'welcome to the party' maybe? In that case try the Forum, a dark and shadowy place where wise men fear to tread. Go be a fool and rush in, there's a good chap.

      So, am I right? I wonder if you'll come back and tell; what's the real reason for posting this link here? What do you hope to achieve from this? I'm dying to know.

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    2. i want to now too Jamie, why this individual must post this facebook profile. im starting to think socios display more better conduct than empaths do.

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    3. @superchickflick flick - cool name but a bit of a mouthful :-)

      How do you mean, better conduct?

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    4. its just a blogger name, they asked for a last name, so i put flick again, lol. its wordy. just call me superchick.
      I meant there not ruled by emotion. I guess i meant better behaved. comfortable in social situations and cool under pressure.

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    5. better behaved in public when people are watching.

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    6. @Anon 8:06: Of course :-) When else?

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  11. Autism is characterized by a belief that the conscious mind has no power.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. isn't that psychology?

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Recall I had an MRI scan and had the feeling after that I was all bouncy and fluid, (Sam Vaknin experiences a similar effect in I PSYCHOPATH doc available on YOU TUBE), as though the magnets had smoothed out all the twists and knots of my sociopathic psyche-truth is it would be nice to have the choice between both things, Neurotypical for dealing with society and sociopathic when alone and dealing with ones furious demonic notions.

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  14. All illness is caused by holding onto conflicting beliefs. Even chemical imbalances are a result of holding onto conflicting beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What do you mean? Do you think mood disorders are curable by thinking in a differrnt way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. believe that is the basis for Dialectical therapies. I personally think one has to go deeper, and look for a physiological solution, though a lot of treatment in this area seems to focus on bridging the divides and the chasms that separate the autistic and neuroatypical from the empath circus.

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  16. autism is just a label society gives you ffs get a life people

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. wounded me to the quick-well it would if my quick was all squidgy soft with empathy as opposed to hard and sheer as diamond, twit!

      Delete
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