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Do you have a child with autism?

We are conducting research studies investigating the effectiveness of oxytocin nasal spray
Our Child Development and Behaviour research group is conducting research studies investigating the effectiveness of oxytocin nasal spray in comparison with a non-active placebo in the treatment of social and behavioural difficulties in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

What's involved?

Participants will undertake clinical interviews, IQ testing, computer tasks and behavioural assessments at the Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney. They will also be asked to complete three MRI brain scans and contribute five small blood samples and five saliva samples. Parents will complete questionnaires and participate in an interview.

First you and your child will need to attend a diagnostic appointment (around 5 hours long) to see if the study is suitable for your child. If they are eligible they will attend four experimental assessments throughout the study; two before and one after taking the nasal spray (oxytocin or placebo) twice daily over a period of twelve weeks, and then a final follow-up assessment three months later. These assessments will take approximately 3 hours each.

Potential benefits of participating in these research studies include:

  • Participation in clinical and behavioural assessments
  • If the hypotheses are supported, then your child may show improvements in social skills and a reduction in repetitive behavior during the study

To be potentially eligible for these research studies, participants must:

  • Be aged 3 – 12 years
  • Be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism, PDD-NOS or Asperger’s Syndrome)
  • Be able to attend 5 appointments at the Brain and Mind Research Institute
  • Not be allergic to preservatives E216, E218, or chlorobutanol hemihydrates
  • Not have any severe cardiovascular problems (e.g., heart disease) or high blood pressure
  • Not have serious any kidney or liver disease (e.g., kidney stones or kidney failure)
  • Not have epilepsy or a seizure disorder
  • Not have severe nasal obstruction or blockage

If you think your child may be eligible, please contact us via email or call (02) 9114 4104 .