Publication

The effects of oxytocine in autism: De werking van oxytocine bij autisme

Groen, Y., Althaus, M., Oosterhoff, M., van Balkom, I. & Hoekstra, P. J., 6-Dec-2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic

Oxytocin is viewed as the hormone of calm, healing and love, and plays an important role in establishing and maintaining social relationships. As autism is characterized by difficulties in social relationships, a dysregulated oxytocin system could possibly be an underlying factor. Our recently finished randomized placebo-controlled cross-over trial investigated the effects of oxytocin nasal spray on oxytocin blood levels and affective empathy in young men with autism. Surprisingly, we found evidence for enhanced blood levels of oxytocin at baseline in high functioning males with autism, especially in those with high intelligence. Oxytocin nasal spray induced a tenfold increase in blood levels in males with and without autism. Blood levels may however not reflect brain levels of oxytocin. Therefore we looked into the effects on the brain responses and centrally controlled heart rate responses to empathy evoking pictures. A subgroup of men with autism had lower empathic orienting responses to positive human emotions, which improved after treatment with oxytocin nasal spray. This subgroup was characterized by high scores (15+) on the Personal Distress (PD) scale of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). Thus, only a subgroup of men with autism appears to benefit from oxytocin nasal spray for enhancing affective empathy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6-Dec-2017
EventSymposium on Interpersonal Dynamics: Behavioral Dynamics in Interpersonal Interactions and Relationships - Windesheim, Zwolle, Netherlands
Duration: 6-Dec-20176-Dec-2017
https://symposium-interpersonal-dynamics.sites.uu.nl/
https://symposium-interpersonal-dynamics.sites.uu.nl/

Conference

ConferenceSymposium on Interpersonal Dynamics
Abbreviated titleInterpersonal dynamics
CountryNetherlands
CityZwolle
Period06/12/201706/12/2017
Internet address

Event

Symposium on Interpersonal Dynamics: Behavioral Dynamics in Interpersonal Interactions and Relationships

06/12/201706/12/2017

Zwolle, Netherlands

Event: Conference

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