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Autism: the birth hormone is believed to control the expression of the syndrome in animals

Press Releases  |  26 February 2014

The scientific community agrees on the early origin – fetal and / or postnatal – of autism. The team of Yehezkel Ben-Ari, Emeritus Research Director at Inserm and his team at the Mediterranean Neurobiology Institute (INMED), have just taken a new step in understanding the disease. The researchers show in an article published in Science that the levels of chlorine in the neurons of model mice of autism are high and remain abnormally high from birth. These results validate the success of the diuretic treatment tested by researchers and clinicians in autistic children in 2012 and suggest in mice that the diuretic taken before birth corrects the deficits in the offspring. They also show that oxytocin, the birthing hormone, produces a drop in chlorine levels during birth which controls the expression of autism syndrome.