Steroid hormones—which include androgens, oestrogens, progestogens, and glucocorticoids—have a variety of important functions in the brain. Moreover, dysfunction of steroid hormone systems has been implicated in various psychiatric conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum conditions. Understanding the role of hormones in brain development is thus a subject of intense research interest, yet ethical considerations […]
Rethinking the concept of autism.
Autism is a common condition that affects the way in which individuals interact with others and the world around them. Autistic individuals often have difficulties with social communication, cognitive empathy (or recognising other people’s mental states), and coping with unexpected change. They also show unusually narrow interests (clinically termed ‘obsessions’), prefer repetition or predictability, and […]
Exploring the effects of intranasal oxytocin in women
Oxytocin is a peptide hormone found in the brain, which is known to play a role in sexual reproduction, childbirth and reciprocal social bonding. Over the past decade, there has been a rise in the number of research publications exploring the possible pro-social effects of administering synthetic oxytocin. In particular, much of this research has […]
Dyspraxia associated with autistic traits in adulthood.
Coordinated movements and successful interactions with other people are important for many activities. But are motor skills and social skills related? A large study carried out between researchers at Coventry University and the Autism Research Centre tried to find out. The research team, led by Dr Sarah Cassidy, compared the rates of dyspraxia in adults with and […]