Recent findings by researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, suggest preliminary evidence that oxytocin, a brain chemical, could be used for treating patients suffering from autism. A study, involving the intravenous and nasal administering of oxytocin to adults with autism spectrum disorders, resulted in improving the ability of autistic patients to identify emotions and reduction in characteristic autistic repetitive behavior. The effect of oxytocin on patients suffering from autism sustained for two weeks, but researchers have not confirmed the diagnostic application of oxytocin, dubbed as ‘love hormone’.
Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine have discovered that toddlers with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) spent most of the time examining the eyes of people in photographs. Study involved an eye-tracking system to evaluate toddlers’ visual scanning patterns and their recognition of faces and abstract patterns. Ironical to the visibility disorder, the current finding of ASD toddlers fixing their eyes on photographs might usher-in a new vision therapy for treating ASD. “This is a surprising finding, given that avoiding eye contact is one of the classic hallmarks of autism,” said Katarzyna Chawarska, assistant professor at the Yale Child Study Center.
University of Iowa researchers have come-up with advanced research on the deletions in a gene called neurexin 1, which causes two cases of autism in one family. Research provides that deletion in the father’s sperm cells in the gestation period, results in the passage of the chromosome, with a missing piece of DNA containing neurexin 1, to the children. This deletion disrupts the formation of proteins, thereby upsetting glutamate synapses and leading to abnormal brain development. Researchers feel that the identification of how deletions function might give way to diagnostic research and therapeutic tools related to autism.
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