Intranasal Oxytocin Administration of Autism

Intranasal Oxytocin Administration of Autism


On May 24th, the University of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine (2017) reported a news about a

recent study pointed out the lower 8IU intranasal administration of oxytocin using novel Breath Powered device increases the overt emotional perception among the ASD patient, promoted an important step for potential pharmacological treatment in ASD.

The outcome of this research paper (Quintana et al., 2017) is beneficial for future

pharmacological and clinical studies of novel treatment in ASD, also illustrated an issue: although we stepped closer to the potential pharmacological treatment in ASD, the optimal delivery method, dose, duration of treatment still need long-term and larger sample-size study to ensure the application of intranasal oxytocin treatment. The issue of finding the optimal intranasal oxytocin treatment strongly considers the biological factor and environmental factor of ASD, and how we can use our body hormone to repair the social dysfunction.

Intranasal oxytocin is significant for treatment in ASD. First of all, the drug

for the ASD is limited and will have the side effect. The research (MacDonald, et al., 2011) concluded the intranasal oxytocin produces no side effect and has no adverse outcome. Besides, there are no approved drugs for the treatment of core symptom of ASD. 10IU-dose oxytocin reduced repetitive behavior scale (Hollander, et al., 2003) and in 2007 Hollander, et al. (2007) had also shown oxytocin improved comprehension of effective speech. Additionally, the oxytocin cannot only improve the social cognition but also bring other positive effects. Rimelle, et al. (2009) showed the selective effect of oxytocin on improved face identity cognition memory and social memory.


Based on the Quintana et al. (2017) study, I want to invest one million dollars in studying

the social cognitive effect of 8IU oxytocin intranasal dose for the children with ASD.

I want to design a double- blinded, placebo control and randomized crossover studies.

Comparing to the similar study only on adolescent boys (Tachibana, et al., 2013), my sample interest consists of 40 Adolescence girls and boys from about 10 to 18 years old, have the similar intelligence quotient around 20 to 101 (Tachibana, et al., 2013). The 40 adolescences are equally randomly assigned to two group, group one will be administered 8IU intranasal oxytocin once a day over 7 consecutive days. Another group as a comparative group administered the placebo at the same time. After the 35 to 50 minutes of administration, participants will have a battery of computerized tests (Wolf et al., 2008). The perception of facial expression and perception of facial identity are assessed in the test. The data outcomes should be set and compared each day and after 7 days will have the overall measures.

I also want to have a single case study based on Hirotaka et. al (2012) study about a 16

year old girl with ASD. I will track a patient about 12 years old, with diagnostic mild Autism disease according to standardized criteria using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (Hirotaka et al., 2012) and show significant core symptoms of ASD. In following half year, the patient will be administrated with 8IU intranasal oxytocin every day. Two more experimenters and caregivers will monitor her behavior according to the Aberrant Behavior Checklist, Social Responsiveness Scale and Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) (Anagnostoua et al., 2009). The caregiver should record the emotion change and abnormal behavior. After each month, a research should be reviewed and revised according to the report of caregiver and experimenters.

Furthermore, I also want to compare different amount multiple doses. Previous study

(Guastella et al., 2015) studied the effect of 18IU and 24IU oxytocin administration for 8 weeks but showed no significant outcomes.  However, another study showed improvements in ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) reciprocity, behavior during a social judgment task, and medial prefrontal activities. (Watanabe et al., 2015). I want to design a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group study. With 40 children, around 12 to 18 years old with a similar symptom, IQ score, receive either 8IU or 24IU oxytocin, administrate once a day for 3 months. After every time administration, participants will have the Revised Eyes Test (Baron-Cohen et al., 2001), select the word best described the actors’ thinking or feeling after looking the photographs of the eye-region of male and female actors. The data should be collected daily and, the data should be compared at end of each month.

Overall, Yamasue (2015) suggested a difficulty in the detect effectiveness of multiple

doses of intranasal oxytocin for ASD. Although lots of examinations proceeded with various dimensions of the intranasal oxytocin for ASD, compounding factor, variability and limitation still exist. (Quintana et al., 2017). The understanding of the intranasal oxytocin response and optimal intranasal delivery method still need more investigations and analyses for Therapeutic application of oxytocin for ASD.



Anagnostoua, E., Sooryab, L., Briana, J., Dupuisc, A., Mankada, D., Smilea, S. &Jacobd, S.

(2014). Intranasl oxytocin in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders: A review of literature and early safety and efficacy data in youth. Brain Research 1589. 1(49), 188-198. 0006-8993 & 2014 Elsevier B.V


Dadds, M.R., MacDonald, E., Cauchi, A., Williams, K., Levy, F., & Brennan, J. (2014). Nasal

oxytocin for social deficits in childhood autism: a randomized controlled trial. J Autism Dev Disord, 44(3), 521-531.


Guastella, A.J., Gray, K.M., Rinehart, N.J., Alvares, G.A., Tonge, B.J., Hickie, I.B., Keating,

C.M., Cacciotti-Saija, C., & Einfeld, S.L. (2015). The effects of a course of intranasal oxytocin on social behaviors in youth diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders: A randomized controlled trial. J. Child Psychol. Psychiatry, 56(4), 444-452.


Hirotaka, K., Toshio, M., Makoto, I., Mizuki, A., Masao, O., Makoto, S., Akemi, T., &Yuji, W.

(2012). Long-term oxytocin administration improves social behaviors in a girl with autistic disorder. BMC Psychiatr, 12, 110.





Hollander E., Bartz J., Chaplin W., Phillips, A., Sumner, J., Soorya, L., Anagnostou, E.,

&Wasserman, S. (2007). Oxytocin increases retention of social cognition in autism. Biol. Psychiatry, 61(4), 498–503.


Hollander E., Novotny S., Hanratty M., Yaffe, R., Decaria, C. M., Aronowitz, B. R.,

& Mosovich, S. (2003). Oxytocin infusion reduces repetitive behaviors in adults with and Asperger’s disorders. Neuropsychopharmacology, 28(1), 193–198.


Lee, S. Y., Lee, A. R., Hwangbo, R., Han, J., Hong, M., &Bahn, G. H. (2015). Is oxytocin

application for Autism Spectrum disorder evidence-based? Experimental Neurobiolog, 24(4), 312-324. http//


MacDonald, E., Dadds, M. R., Brennan, J. L., williams, K., Levy, F., & Cauchi, A. J. (2011). A

review of safety, side-effects and subjective reactions to intranasal oxytocin in human research. Psychoneuroendocrinolog, 36(8), 1114-1126.


Quintana, D. S., Westlye, L. T., Hope, S., Naerland, T., Elvsåshagen, T., Dørum, E.,

…, & Andreeassen, O. A. (2017). Dose-dependent social-cognitive effects of intranasal oxytocin delivered with novel Breath Powered device in adults with autism spectrum disorder: a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind crossover trial. Translational Psychiatry, 7(5), e1126. DOI: 10.1038/tp.2017.103




Rimelle U., Hediger K., Heinrichs M., Klaver P. (2009). Oxytocin makes a face memory

familiar. J Neurosci, 29(1), 38-42.


Tachibana, M., Kagitani-Shimono, K., Mohri, I., Yamamoto, T., Sanefuji, W., Nakamura, A.,

Oishi, M., …, & Taniike, M. (2013). Long-term administration of intranasal oxytocin is a safe and promising therapy for early adolescent boys with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 23(2), 123-127. 10.1089/cap.2012.0048


University of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine. (2017, May 24). Oxytocin administered to the nose

increases emotion perception in autism. Science Daily.

Retrieved from


Watanabe, T., Kuroda, M., Kuwabara, H., Aoki, Y., Iwashiro, N., Tatsunobu, N., …, &

Yamasue,  H. (2015). Clinical and neural effects of six-week administration of oxytocin on core symptoms of autism. Brain, 138(11), 3400-3412. awv249


Wolf, J.M., Tanaka, J.W., Klaiman, C., Cockburn, J., Herlihy, L., Brown, C., South, M.,

McPartland, J., …, & Schultz, R.T. (2008). Specific impairment of face-processing abilities in children with autism spectrum disorder using the Let’s Face It! skills battery. Autism Res, 1(6), 329-40.



Yamasue, H. (2015). Promising evidence and remaining issues regarding the clinical application of

oxytocin in autism spectrum disorders. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 70, 89-99. doi:10.1111/pcn.12364









Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: 徽标

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  更改 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  更改 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  更改 )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  更改 )

Connecting to %s