Tag: oxytocin

March 2017
Spectum_Opener copy
Features / Deep Dive

Meet the newest contestant in the scientific rat race

by  /  15 March 2017

Mice have long been the mainstay of autism research, but a small group of scientists say rats are the superior choice. Rats are bigger, smarter, friendlier — and a lot more fun.

Pair bonding: Babies with Prader-Willi syndrome who receive oxytocin show improved interactions with their mothers.Monashee Alonso / Getty Images

Oxytocin boosts social skills in autism-related syndrome

by  /  15 March 2017

One week of treatment with the hormone oxytocin improves social skills and feeding in infants with Prader-Willi syndrome.

February 2017
Treat pursuit: Rats with a mutation in the SHANK2 gene press a lever for a reward about a hundred times more than controls before giving up.Dmitry Maslov / Getty Images

Rats with mutant SHANK genes show autism-like behaviors

by  /  16 February 2017

Researchers have engineered two new rats with mutations in a family of genes that function at neuronal junctions, they reported today at the 2014 International Meeting for Autism Research in Atlanta.

November 2016
Sniff test: Rats given oxytocin can better remember other rats even a week after stopping the drug.

Rodent studies test oxytocin’s translational mettle

by  /  15 November 2016

Researchers are grappling with the complexities of transforming oxytocin into a drug for use in the clinic.

August 2016
Audio only. The hippocampus is a brain region that looks like a seahorse. It helps form memories —  whether that’s the name of the fourth president of the United States or about yesterday’s trip to the mall. People with autism have little trouble holding onto facts, but they often have problems recalling visits to the mall and other life events. This gap may contribute to some of their social quirks.

Memory hub could underlie social, cognitive quirks of autism

by  /  24 August 2016

The brain’s memory center, the hippocampus, may provide clues to features of autism as disparate as personal relationships and decision-making.

July 2016
Behavior boost: Lactobacillus reuteri, a bacterial species found in yogurt and probiotic supplements, normalizes social behavior in mice exposed to a high-fat diet in utero.Eye of Science  /  Science Source

Single microbe may restore social behaviors in mice

by  /  7 July 2016

A single species of bacteria reverses autism-like features in mice exposed to a high-fat diet in utero — but researchers question the findings’ relevance to people.

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January 2016
Week of JanuaryJan
News / Spotted

Misjudging monkeys; consoling voles; canine connection

by  /  29 January 2016

Headlines about “autistic monkeys” are missing the point, prairie voles show empathy, and dogs could offer clues to psychiatric conditions in people.

November 2015
Deep breath:   Spritzes of oxytocin seem to improve social skills with no serious side effects.
Boris Bulychev /Shutterstock.com

Oxytocin boosts social skills in young children with autism

by  /  6 November 2015

Inhaling puffs of the hormone oxytocin modestly improves social behaviors, the first trial of the hormone in children with autism has found.

October 2015
Prozac peril: Prairie voles exposed to fluoxetine in utero are more anxious and antisocial than their unexposed counterparts.© Tom McHugh / Science Source

Prairie vole study digs up link between Prozac, oxytocin

by  /  21 October 2015

Prairie vole pups exposed to the antidepressant fluoxetine in the womb show autism-like behaviors and lose some receptors for oxytocin and vasopressin.

Opinion / Viewpoint

By chemically tagging genes, sex hormones shape brain

by ,  /  19 October 2015

The environment’s influence on gene expression can vary by sex and affect autism’s expression.


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