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Pro-social hormones for autism?

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What is a pro-social hormone? Well, apparently the neuropeptide, oxytocin could be one. In the search to find medication to help improve social function in some children with autism, intranasal oxytocin has been used. Does it work? Sikich L et al (N Engl J Med 2021;385: 1462–1473) have conducted a 24-week, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial of oxytocin therapy in children and young adults, 3 to 17 years of age with autism spectrum disorder. Out of 355 subjects screened, they enrolled 290 recruits who were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio, with stratification according to age and verbal fluency, …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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