Intranasal Oxytocin Treatment for Social Deficits in Children With Autism
This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Antonio Hardan, Stanford University
First received: June 18, 2012
Last updated: April 10, 2017
Last verified: April 2017
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by core deficits in social behavior and communication, and the presence of repetitive or stereotyped behaviors. It is one of three recognized disorders in the autism spectrum which affects an estimated 1 in 88 children in the United States. At present, pharmacotherapies target only associated features of autism, with no effective drug treatments for the social impairments. Several lines of evidence now suggest that the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) may be an effective treatment for the core social deficits in autism. Here we will test the effects of twice daily intranasal OT (24 IU) over a 4-week period for enhancing social deficits in male and female children aged 6-12 years with autism. This research has high potential to lead to the development of more effective treatments and earlier interventions for children with autism.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo Controlled Trial of Intranasal Oxytocin Treatment for Social Deficits in Children With Autism.|
Resource links provided by NLM:
Further study details as provided by Antonio Hardan, Stanford University:
Primary Outcome Measures:
- Change from baseline in parent rated Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) scores during treatment. [ Time Frame: 4-weeks ]
Secondary Outcome Measures:
- Parent rated Dosage Record Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale (DOTES) scores during treatment. [ Time Frame: Single-dose, 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and body mass index. [ Time Frame: Single-dose, 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in Clinical Global Impression (CGI) scores during treatment. [ Time Frame: 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in parent rated Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) scores during treatment. [ Time Frame: 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in parent rated Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC) scores during treatment. [ Time Frame: 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in parent rated Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) during treatment. [ Time Frame: 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales - Social and Communication subscales during treatment. [ Time Frame: 4-weeks, 8-weeks ]
- Change from baseline in laboratory based facial emotion recognition abilities during treatment. [ Time Frame: Single-dose, 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in laboratory based eye-gaze to social cues during treatment. [ Time Frame: Single-dose, 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test, child version (RMET-child) scores during treatment. [ Time Frame: Single-dose, 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in laboratory based social mimicry abilities during treatment. [ Time Frame: Single-dose, 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in Developmental NEuroPSYchological Assessment (NEPSY-II) Social Perception and Memory for Faces & Names subscales scores during treatment. [ Time Frame: Single-dose, 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in plasma oxytocin, vasopressin, and cortisol levels during treatment. [ Time Frame: 4-week, 8-week ]
- Change from baseline in parent rated Repetitive Behavior Scale Revised (RBS-R) scores during treatment. [ Time Frame: 4-week, 8-week ]
|Actual Study Start Date:||June 2012|
|Study Completion Date:||May 2016|
|Primary Completion Date:||May 2016 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Active Comparator: Oxytocin nasal spray
Prior to randomization, all subjects will participate in a 1-week open-label placebo lead-in trial. Each subject will be administered the placebo nasal spray at Stanford University and then their parent will continue administering the nasal spray to the subject for 1 week at home. Each subject will then be randomly assigned either to the active group or to the placebo (stratified by gender) and will be given the appropriate nasal spray bottle and their parents will be responsible for administering 3 puffs per nostril (4 IU/puff) to their child for a total dose of 24 IU oxytocin or placebo twice daily (BID; morning and evening) for 4-weeks. On completion of this 4-week treatment trial subjects will have the option of participating in a second double-blind trial in which they will be assigned to the alternate nasal spray, to that which they received during the first 4-week trial, for an additional 4-week period.
Drug: Oxytocin nasal spray
24IU BID (3 x 0.1 mL [4IU] sprays per nostril twice daily for 4-weeks.
Other Name: Syntocinon® Nasal Spray
Placebo Comparator: Placebo nasal spray
The placebo nasal spray bottles will be prepared by adding all of the ingredients used in the Syntocinon nasal sprays with the exception of the concentrated oxytocin solution.
3 x 0.1 mL sprays per nostril twice daily for 4-weeks.
In recent years, the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has been implicated in a wide range of social behaviors including attachment bonds, emotion recognition, eye gaze to social cues, and memory for social information. Social impairments represent one of the most intractable features of autism, and evidence now suggests that OT biology is dysregulated in individuals with this disorder. The central aim of the research outlined here is to test whether OT administration to children with autism increases their quality and quantity of social interactions and enhances their ability to process emotional and social information. Findings from initial single-dose OT administration studies in teenaged and adult males with autism have shown improvement in some aspects of social functioning, but replication and extension to well-controlled treatment trials with younger male and female subjects is necessary to evaluate effectiveness. We therefore aim to investigate the effect of intranasal OT on social cognition and behavior immediately following a single-dose (24IU) and following a 4-week period of OT (24IU BID) administration in a sample of 50 subjects with autism aged 6 to 12 years. The primary outcome for this study is change in social behavior, as determined by parent ratings on the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) after the 4-week treatment period. Secondary outcomes are changes in functioning on laboratory-based measures of social behavior and cognition following single-dose and 4-week OT administration. Research in a small study sample (N=13) also identified treatment responders and non-responders to a single-dose of OT. Thus, we also aim to identify biological and cognitive and behavioral variables (i.e., pretreatment levels of social functioning and pretreatment plasma hormone levels) that may influence treatment response efficacy in our larger study sample. On completion of the 4-week treatment period all subjects will have the option of participating in another 4-week double-blind trial in which they will be switched to the alternate nasal spray to that which they previously received. They will then undergo a fourth and final assessment time-point using the same testing procedures as outlined above on completion of the 4-week dosing. By providing subjects with the option of participating in a second 4-week treatment trial, all subjects will have an opportunity to receive the active oxytocin nasal spray. We also will be able to examine any ongoing effects of oxytocin treatment in the group receiving placebo during the second 4-week administration period. Subjects not willing to take part in the second trial will exit the study and will be referred to their treating physician.
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Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01624194
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01624194
|United States, California|
|Stanford University School of Medicine|
|Stanford, California, United States, 94305|
Sponsors and Collaborators
|Principal Investigator:||Antonio Y Hardan, MD||Stanford University|
|Principal Investigator:||Karen J Parker, PhD||Stanford University|