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'Love Hormone' Oxytocin May Help Some With Autism

Study found it boosted ability of certain patients to read facial expressions, nonverbal cues

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Adesman said, "Recent studies have suggested that oxytocin can have a favorable effect on the social behaviors of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. [And] this new study suggests that the effects of oxytocin, from an experimental standpoint, may not be as narrow as previously believed," he acknowledged.

Andrea Roberts, a research associate in the department of social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, pointed out that the research on this topic has produced mixed results.

"I think the prior studies show that there is potential for oxytocin to be slightly beneficial to people with [autism spectrum disorder]," she said, "but the evidence for long-term, meaningful levels of effectiveness is unfortunately not yet there."

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