Oxytocin

I read an article in the Daily Mail (so it must be true!!!) about a new 'Treatment' for autism using oxytocin. (this story is not new and has been going round for some time but the daily mail recirculates old stories frequently).  Apparently Oxytocin causes someone on the Autism Spectrum to react with more social interraction and makes them more likely to cuddle.

My understanding of oxytocin is that it is the hormone released when one falls in love, and is released in new mothers and causes them to bond with their babies. 

For anyone who ever has fallen in love, there is an extreme 'high' when one first experiences this.  Followed by a very extreme 'low' if the relationship breaks down.

The 'high' I think is due to the oxytocin affecting one's mind,  and then one becomes dependant on this .  The 'low' is withdrawal symptoms, which lead to the depression, anxiety, and all the bad feelings one gets at the breakdown of a relationship.

So I wonder, if using oxytocin in this way will actually lead to an even more intense meltdown if  for any reason it is withdrawn or unavailable?  And as with any drug, dependancy will become an issue.  It is not in my nature to take mind altering substances of any sort and would be very wary if my doctor prescribed it for me, a natural hormone or not. 

My other point of view is that there is this pervasive thought among many that ASD's need a 'cure' and this is not the case for everyone.  I do not need a 'cure'.  What I need is to be accepted for what I am, just different to other people and I have my own way of thinking and doing things. 

It was also interesting to read the comments to this article and the fact that some still believe autism is caused by measels vaccine!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3738956/Sydney-scientists-trial-new-nasal-spray-used-treat-autism-five-years.html

  • Trainspotter said:

    I read an article in the Daily Mail (so it must be true!!!

    Should I take this literally ?

    At face value ?

    Is this a factual statement ?

    Or is this irony?

    Or sarcasm ?

    Is it a joke ?

    What was the intention of this statement ?

    Why did the person make such a statement ?

    What does it mean ?

    I can never tell.

    I am never sure.

    I struggle with such ambiguity.

    Even though I myself use such devices and understand them in theory.

    It baffles my brain in practice when I see it or hear it.

    Why must it be true?

    If it is irony why the opposite ?

    When I see such a statement I instantly see multiple meanings, and get confused.

    My brain freezes, I have to compute a response; do I take it seriously which leads to other questions, or do I laugh ? If I laugh am I being appropriate or am I misunderstanding the situation ? And on and on go the cognitions. By then I can no longer respond spontaneously. By then the conversation has moved on and I am lost.

    And if it is in a job interview then the employer has by this time decided in their mind not to hire me because my vacant stare and poker face has put them off.

  • Aspergerix said:

    I read an article in the Daily Mail (so it must be true!!!

    Should I take this literally ?

    At face value ?

    Is this a factual statement ?

    Or is this irony?

    Or sarcasm ?

    Is it a joke ?

    What was the intention of this statement ?

    Why did the person make such a statement ?

    What does it mean ?

    I can never tell.

    I am never sure.

    I struggle with such ambiguity.

    Even though I myself use such devices and understand them in theory.

    It baffles my brain in practice when I see it or hear it.

    Why must it be true?

    If it is irony why the opposite ?

    When I see such a statement I instantly see multiple meanings, and get confused.

    My brain freezes, I have to compute a response; do I take it seriously which leads to other questions, or do I laugh ? If I laugh am I being appropriate or am I misunderstanding the situation ? And on and on go the cognitions. By then I can no longer respond spontaneously. By then the conversation has moved on and I am lost.

    And if it is in a job interview then the employer has by this time decided in their mind not to hire me because my vacant stare and poker face has put them off.

    [/quote]

    Me too, sometimes.

    In this case though and it's true for any tabloid newspaper that the story can't really be trusted. Tabloids have a habit of picking up on a half truth and running away with it in usually the wrong direction.

    Irony I think is the use of the phrase in this instance.

  • The use of oxytocin looks to be a novel area in the treatment of certain aspects of autism. I decided not to read the daily mail article, but I did find that there may be some evidence in the use of this chemical in treatment of anxiety.

    I do recall the alleged use of oxytocin to attempt to make people more trusting (I believe it was used as an aerosol), but I don't think there was any conclusive evidence of its effectiveness.

    Regardless, while I greatly doubt it could be a mireacle treatment, it may (eventaully) be useful for those with severe anxiety around others (and are diagnosed both with autism and a particular genetic predisposition) or feel they are unable to communicate or interpret others / their intentions. Note: I base this entirely on my limited understanding of how oxytocin probably works, and it should be recognised that this is quite a new treatment with only small-scale limited trials currently undertaken (as far as I've been able to find).

    Aspergerix said:

    I read an article in the Daily Mail (so it must be true!!!

    As for this, I feel that in order to understand it, you must know and agree with the common consensus that the Daily Mail occasionally publishes stories that produce a good headline without properly researching them.

    I suppose by that standard, it could equally be written:

    "...I read an article in (XXDaily NewspaperXX), so it must be true!".

  • Hi folks 
    There is some real research behind the DM story but as ever it's early days and many many questions. FYI here is our "position"
    "This is interesting research from the University of Sydney, which adds to the growing body of knowledge about the potential impact oxytocin can have on some autistic people. But we understand that the trials are ongoing and only involve children, plus wider research is still at an early stage. It's therefore very important not to draw any hard and fast conclusions at this stage. 
    Autism is a complex condition which affects each person differently. It’s crucial that there’s a range of different interventions to meet individual needs. Oxytocin may offer one potentially helpful intervention for some autistic people, but we won’t know who for and in what circumstances until there’s more evidence"
    Regards
    Bob-Mod NAS
  • Sorry Aspergerix.  I'll try to remember to make it clear when I use irony in the future.

  • Sometimes i don't get sarcasm. I asked a friend who was waiting to take me home from an appointment "Wasn't too long was i?"

    He replied "No, you was only an hour and a half". I thought about this for a bit then he added "That was thinly veiled sarcsm by the way". I want straight over my headn though. Sorry i know this has nothing to do with post, wont happen again.

  • Blues said:

    Sorry i know this has nothing to do with post, wont happen again.

    Please don't worry about it. A lot of us are autistic here, we won't give you any grief for doing something autistic.

    Also, what you said is relevant to to some of the content in this thread.

  • Trainspotter said:

    Sorry Aspergerix.  I'll try to remember to make it clear when I use irony in the future.

    Thanks Trainspotter, but you do not need to apologise; it’s me, I am pragmatically challenged, I am both high functioning and low functioning when it comes to the use of and interpretation of language.

    This is the paradox I find very difficult to explain to people.

     I struggle to understand people’s intentions and meanings, plus I struggle to convey my own intentions and meanings correctly using language.

    People often get upset with me and accuse me of sarcasm and irony when I never intended this , or they interpret my words to mean things I never intended.

    I do not have the foresight to understand how my language comes across, and often even in hindsight I fail to understand how people can perceive my words in the ways they do. The result more often than not is that my words unintentionally upset and alienate people. It is the paradox that I can and cannot communicate. The average neuro-typical person does not understand this unfortunately , only a professor of linguistics has the insights to know what issues involved are.

    I can string words together but there is a lot more to communication and the use of language than that. I have a certain mental blindness. It is a mental process disability. It is part of my Autism. It is like colour blindness where a person can see but they also cannot see. They can see only part of the light spectrum and I can only see part of the communication spectrum but am blind to other parts. 

    It is this mind blindness that people just cannot comprehend. Talking to neuro-typical people I feel like I am talking to the deaf and I am not able to use sign language and they don't understand sign language and everybody is just angry angry upset offended confused lost.

  • personally i don't think it worth it

  • Anonymous said:

    Sorry i know this has nothing to do with post, wont happen again.

    Please don't worry about it. A lot of us are autistic here, we won't give you any grief for doing something autistic.

    Also, what you said is relevant to to some of the content in this thread.

    [/quote]

    Thank you Paul1964, its just sometimes i get a bit ahead of myself. I've been looking for friends my whole life, now i find a place full of people who are like me, and its nice you know.