Objectives: The aim of this research is to determine the safety and effectiveness of oxytocin nasal spray in the treatment of social and behavioural difficulties for young children with ASDs. We aim to determine whether oxytocin nasal spray would improve social interaction, social cognition and reduce repetitive behaviours in comparison to placebo nasal spray. Using early intervention models that suggest intervention is most effective when provided before the age of six, we target this treatment towards children aged between three and six years of age.
Methods: This trial recruited 39 participants aged 3 and 8years of age who met DSM-IV-TR criteria for an ASD. In a double- blind, randomised cross-over design, participants were randomly assigned to receive oxytocin (12IU) and placebo nasal spray morning and night for the 5 week treatment course.
Results: The complete results of the trial will be presented at this conference. As this trial is yet to be accepted for publication, we do not report results within this abstract. We will discuss results, moderating factors, and limitations of the current studies at the time of presentation.
Conclusions: To date, this clinical trial will be the first to demonstrate the effectiveness of oxytocin in improving social skills, social cognition and reducing repetitive behaviour in young children with ASDs aged between three and six years. This trial has important clinical and medical implications for the use of oxytocin as an early intervention treatment approach for symptoms of ASDs.
See more of: Cognition and Behavior
See more of: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Phenotype