The hormone oxytocin modulates molecular pathways associated with autism in gut cells, according to unpublished research presented Saturday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in New Orleans.
Men with a common autism-linked variant of CD38, a gene that regulates levels of the ‘trust hormone’ oxytocin, benefit more from the hormone than do those with other variants, according to a study published in the May issue of Neuropsychopharmacology.
Individuals with autism are more likely than controls to have small, rare duplications or deletions of stretches of DNA in genes that play a role in dampening signals in the brain, according to a study published 2 April in Molecular Autism.
Individuals with fragile X syndrome make slightly more eye contact in stressful social situations after taking oxytocin compared with placebo.
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.
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.