Hormone may help people with autism make better eye contact

February 15, 2010 2:52:47 PM PST
A hormone thought to encourage bonding between mothers and their babies may help autism symptoms.

French researchers had 13 people with high functioning autism spectrum disorders inhale the hormone known as oxytocin. Participants then took part in a ball tossing game. The hormone appeared to helped increase the participants' ability to make eye contact with others.

Researchers say oxytocin also seems to improve the ability of people with autism to understand how other people are responding to them.

The study results were presented in Egypt at the Mediterranean Conference of Neuroscience.