The potential application of oxytocin in autism spectrum disorders

  • Ioana Staicu Maastricht University - Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience


Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting a significant percent of the population. Affected individuals usually present with limited interests and impaired communication and social interactions. Despite researchers’ attempts, no specific pharmacotherapy has been developed, with behavioural interventions rendering the best results so far. However, there is an increasing amount of evidence that oxytocin intake could be beneficial in terms of improving social impairments in some of these individuals. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the proposed mechanisms underlying dysregulation in the oxytocinergic system and to assess the results and discuss the limitations of several clinical studies involving oxytocin administration.