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Science Autism

mr peabody

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Study challenges assumptions about social interaction difficulties in autism

UT Dallas | Neuroscience News | 29 Jan 2020

Successful social interactions for adults on the autism spectrum revolve around partner compatibility, not just the skill set of the other person.

Autism is characterized in part by an individual’s challenges communicating and interacting socially with others. These difficulties have typically been studied in isolation by focusing on cognitive and behavioral differences in those with autism spectrum disorder, but little work has been done on how exchanges for autistic people unfold in the real world.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas recently turned the spotlight on social interaction in autism by examining it as a two-way street. Their results, published in December in the journal Autism, suggest that successful interactions for autistic adults revolve around partner compatibility and not just the skill set of either person.

Most studies attempting to understand social disability in autism focus exclusively on individual characteristics,” said Dr. Noah Sasson, an associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) and corresponding author of the study. “This presumes that any difficulties in social interaction are driven solely by the autistic person. But how each person influences and is influenced by the other is key to understanding affiliation and social quality.”

The study focused on the so-called “double-empathy problem,” which predicts that two people who are neurologically different and have distinct modes of communication and understanding may have trouble connecting with each other, as commonly occurs in interactions between autistic and non-autistic adults.

It’s not just that autistic adults can struggle to infer the thoughts and motivations of typically developing adults, which has been well documented; the reverse is true as well. Non-autistic people struggle to infer what autistic people are thinking,” Sasson said. “Anecdotally, many autistic people often report better quality of social interaction when engaging with other autistic people. We set out to test this empirically.”

Kerrianne Morrison MS’16, PhD’19, the paper’s lead author, explained that the concept of a social-interaction difficulty being a two-sided, relational problem — and not simply a shortcoming of the autistic person — is only beginning to take hold.

Autism is such a young field of study. Examining differences depending on the context of social situations rather than dysfunction across all contexts is starting to gain traction in academia,” she said. “We believe this represents a better understanding of how people with autism can thrive in the right contexts.”

In the study, 125 adults held a five-minute, unstructured “getting-to-know-you” conversation with an unfamiliar person. Sixty-seven of the participants had been diagnosed with autism. Each participant then independently evaluated the quality of the interaction and their first impressions of their partner.

Autistic adults were not rated as less intelligent, trustworthy or likable by either the autistic or typically developing cohort, and importantly, autistic participants’ interactions with other autistic adults were viewed by them as more favorable than those with typically developing partners.

While typically developing participants preferred future interaction with other typically developing partners over autistic partners,” Sasson said, “autistic adults actually trended toward the opposite, preferring future interaction with other autistic adults. They also disclosed more about themselves to autistic partners and felt closer to their partners than did typically developing participants.”

Autistic adults were rated as more awkward and less socially warm than typically developing adults by both autistic and typically developing partners. Some judgments were more favorable than those from Sasson’s previous studies in which people evaluated autistic adults in videos.

Direct interaction seems to lessen some negative evaluations of autism,” Sasson said. “This aligns with previous work suggesting that direct experience and knowledge of autism can reduce stigma and promote inclusion.”

Typically developing participants also rated the conversational content with autistic and typically developing partners to be of similar quality. This shows that negative evaluations of autistic adults by non-autistic adults may be based more on social presentation differences and not their actual conversations.

These findings suggest that social interaction difficulties in autism are not an absolute characteristic of the individual,” Sasson said. “Rather, social quality is a relational characteristic that depends upon the fit between the person and the social environment. If autistic people were inherently poor at social interaction, you’d expect an interaction between two autistic people to be even more of a struggle than between an autistic and non-autistic person. But that’s not what we found.”

The study focused on the so-called “double-empathy problem,” which predicts that two people who are neurologically different and have distinct modes of communication and understanding may have trouble connecting with each other, as commonly occurs in interactions between autistic and non-autistic adults.

Sasson said that he hopes this work shows that studying actual social interaction elicits a deeper understanding than studying individual abilities alone.

Social disability in autism is context-dependent and emerges more in interactions with typically developing partners,” he said. “This likely reflects a mismatch in cognitive and communication styles that may improve with increased familiarity and acceptance.”

Morrison believes that this research is illuminating a crucial portion of the story for the autistic community.

We’re moving beyond the existing research, which has fixated on social abilities in isolated, standardized contexts, and addressing this blind spot of real-world outcomes,” she said. “Particularly in adults, this is the information we need.”

 
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MountainTrails

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Some conversation elsewhere on the Internet got me thinking about the relatively high levels of substance use/self-medicating in the autistic community.

The Hidden Link Between Autism and Addiction
Addiction and Autism: A Remarkable Comorbidity?

And posted earlier in this thread:
Autism's Hidden Habit

In that context, I find the following paper interesting. Basically, social rejection and physical pain fire off the same brain areas.

Why rejection hurts: a common neural alarm system for physical and social pain

(It's an academic paper, and the formatting is complex enough I'm not going to try to post/format the content here, but rather post the bare link.)

I was chatting about it with a friend, and their comment was on the money IMO: "My main takeaway from this research is that emotional pain *is* real and valid, and deserves to be taken seriously. Being ostracized or bullied (for example) can cause as much pain, trauma, and suffering as being beaten up." And abuse, sadly, is also a common story in the autistic community.
 
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Inds

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Have any of you guys tried suramin? A recent study described it as an impressive breakthrough in the treatment of autism.
 

trogere

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I've read a few reports of parents Healing their child of autism by following a strict protocol of mercury chelation. Mercury is present in dental amalgalm, vaccine, cfl bulbs, and fish. Some people are more sensitive to mercury, their body is keeping most of it. Also, during pregnancy, mercury moves from the mother to the fœtus.

Several cases of autism would be in fact mercury intoxication. A slow mercury intoxication won't show in traditionnal blood or piss tests. You have to get hair-tests, and usually they'll be negative to mercury, but there will be an imbalance in other minerals.
 

Wilson Wilson

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How do opiates affect you? I think they make me kind of psychopathic personally, but are also euphoric/fun.
Opiates make me empathetic and loving. Interesting they make you psychopathic. I feel like opiates activate my emotions. Not as intensely as MDMA, but in a much more functional "natural" feeling way. I won't tell random people I love them, but I'll feel closer to people I know, I'll express emotions that don't come to the surface usually.

Aside from that they just affect me the usual way. Highly euphoric. The description given by Bob in Drugstore Cowboy fits perfectly for me:

"The drug would start a warm itch that would surge along until the brain consumed it in a gentle explosion. It began in the back of the neck and rose rapidly until I felt such pleasure that the whole world sympathized and took on a soft, lofty appeal. Everything was grand then. Your worst enemy -- he wasn't so bad. The ants in the grass -- they were just, you know, doin' their thing. Everything took on the rosy hue of unlimited success. You could do no wrong, and as long as it lasted, life was beautiful."
 

MountainTrails

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I've read a few reports of parents Healing their child of autism by following a strict protocol of mercury chelation. Mercury is present in dental amalgalm, vaccine, cfl bulbs, and fish. Some people are more sensitive to mercury, their body is keeping most of it. Also, during pregnancy, mercury moves from the mother to the fœtus.

Several cases of autism would be in fact mercury intoxication. A slow mercury intoxication won't show in traditionnal blood or piss tests. You have to get hair-tests, and usually they'll be negative to mercury, but there will be an imbalance in other minerals.
My perspective on that, which touches on a couple sensitive points in the community:

Autism has a genetic basis, which informs neurological development and functionality. The neurology drives behaviors. I know there are parents who report "curing" autism, but what they usually mean is that therapy made some unwelcome autistic behaviors disappear. If a deaf person learns to lip-read, are they still deaf or are they "cured"?

There's a lot of snake oil "cure" being peddled. Feeding kids bleach as chelation therapy is the latest. It's also child abuse.

I have seen papers supporting the idea that some people's brains are worse at waste management of various things -- including mercury -- than others. I could see how those brains might be adversely impacted by things that don't appreciably affect other people, but at this point the conversations I've seen have devolved into shouting back and forth about vaccines, antivaxxers, and herd immunity.
 

mr peabody

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Suramin autism trial update

by Gita Gupta | Moving Autism Forward | 8 Mar 2018

Last year, we posted about Dr. Robert Naviaux’s success with the 100 year old drug Suramin in a small double-blind, placebo controlled trial of children with autism. All the children who received a single dose of Suramin showed improvements in the core symptoms of autism. You can read the parent stories of improvements in their children here, but these are some of the improvements that were seen –

· new language
· longer and more complex spontaneous sentences
· improvements in voice quality
· improved appetite
· less picky eating
· interest in trying new things
· greater resilience to changes in routine
· increased social interaction with other children including playing games.

This study was small due to a lack of funding. Funding was entirely from private donations. Larger, carefully designed clinical trials are needed to replicate the results, learn how to use low-dose suramin safely in autism, identify drug interactions as well as detect rare side effects and collect all the data that the FDA requires to approve the use of Suramin in autism.

After the success of the initial small trial, we had hoped it would be quick and easy to raise money to fund the path to FDA approval. As some of you know, the road has been much longer and rockier than anyone expected. However, we finally have good news! Read on for an update.



Suramin autism trial update – Q&A with Dr. Naviaux

What is the status of the suramin autism trial(s) – has funding been found? If so, when will the trials start?

Dr.Naviaux: I am very happy to share that a biotech company, backed by very reputable investors with a proven track record, has agreed to make Suramin and fund the next autism trials.

Unfortunately, Bayer decided not to provide Suramin for the proposed clinical trials in autism. So, the biotech company that will be funding the trials has agreed to manufacture Suramin. They will also collect all the data that the FDA needs in order to approve the drug for use in autism.

It will take about a year for Suramin to be available from this biotech company. Even factoring in the year that it will take for Suramin to be ready, we expect that this will be a much faster and smoother path to FDA approval than attempting to fund each step through charitable donations.

The company will make a public announcement when Suramin is available for the next clinical trials. (Per the legal agreement that the Naviaux Lab has with this company, their name cannot be disclosed until then.) The Suramin autism treatment 2 (SAT2) trials will start as soon as Suramin is available.

We are hopeful that the new supplier of Suramin will, in the long run, offer a simpler path forward and fewer potential delays in testing. If future clinical trials show that Suramin is safe and effective in treating autism, then the FDA will have all the data they need to make a decision on approval in a shorter period of time than before. Ultimately, this means that the drug can become available for patients with autism or ME/CFS faster than was possible before.

We appreciate your support on the long road we traveled trying to raise funds for this trial. We are very grateful for all your donations, which have helped support the lab while this important agreement was being worked out.

Can you describe the trials that are planned? How many patients, what age, what gender etc.? Will there be a multi-dose trial or just the bigger trial?

Dr. Naviaux: Several clinical trials will be needed. The first two will test a few doses of Suramin given monthly for a few months. These will be done in about 50 boys, ages 5-17 years old. The exact ages have not yet been decided. After that, a study will be done that will include girls with ASD. Other studies will look at drug-drug interactions so we know if Suramin interacts with drugs that are commonly used in ASD. The last clinical trial that the FDA will need will be a Phase III, multicenter trial in 200 or more participants. The multicenter trial will test the safety and efficacy of several doses of Suramin given monthly for several months.

Will Suramin be available on a compassionate use basis prior to FDA approval?

Dr. Naviaux: This is not known yet. The safety and efficacy of several doses of Suramin must be shown first.

How long will it take to get FDA approval?

Dr. Naviaux: This will depend on the results of the next few studies. In principle, it usually takes about 5 years to complete all the needed studies after the first feasibility study. This would include the time to conduct and analyze the results of the required multicenter, Phase III study. If the next studies showed that Suramin was exceptionally safe and effective at the doses used, this time might be decreased by a year or two.

Here’s to smooth sailing ahead

After many roadblocks and funding challenges, we are happy that a path has finally emerged for Suramin to be extensively tested in autism! Here’s wishing Dr. Naviaux and his biotech partners a smooth and quick path for testing Suramin, and if proven safe and effective, winning the FDA approvals needed to make it widely available to children with autism.

Want to learn more about Suramin in autism? Check out the Naviaux Lab page on autism research. http://naviauxlab.ucsd.edu/science-item/autism-research/

UPDATE: Suramin Research Status

By Lisa Ackerman | 4 Nov 2019

In 2020, one of the most promising autism treatment research projects, Suramin, is heading in the next phases. To learn more about Suramin please see our previous blogs on the topic.

Dr. Naviaux reported in his TACA talk on October 20, 2019, “The UC San Diego Naviaux lab team had a great meeting with the FDA this summer. They are very supportive of the Suramin trials. The company making the new Suramin now thinks they will be able to launch the SAT2 trial in 2020. Once we are within 6 months of an actual start date, I will be able to give a more precise estimate of when we will actually begin enrolling patients.”

The next steps for the Suramin SAT2 study is looking to be launched the Fall of 2020.

Sign up here on TACANow blog for updates or contact UCSD Naviaux lab here: http://naviauxlab.ucsd.edu/ .

 
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trogere

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My perspective on that, which touches on a couple sensitive points in the community:

Autism has a genetic basis, which informs neurological development and functionality. The neurology drives behaviors. I know there are parents who report "curing" autism, but what they usually mean is that therapy made some unwelcome autistic behaviors disappear. If a deaf person learns to lip-read, are they still deaf or are they "cured"?

There's a lot of snake oil "cure" being peddled. Feeding kids bleach as chelation therapy is the latest. It's also child abuse.

I have seen papers supporting the idea that some people's brains are worse at waste management of various things -- including mercury -- than others. I could see how those brains might be adversely impacted by things that don't appreciably affect other people, but at this point the conversations I've seen have devolved into shouting back and forth about vaccines, antivaxxers, and herd immunity.
Bleach is not a safe way to chelate mercury. DMSA, DMPS and ALA are the only safe chelators for mercury, if used following a specific protocol of multiple oral doses following half-life. IV chelation is dangerous.
 

Wilson Wilson

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Here's something relevant and interesting that popped into my memory:

Cannabis for sensory issues. Anyone else feeling this?

The memory that prompted this was one day after having a smoke with my mates in the park we went to get pizza in a restaurant and had a chill time. Just as we were about to leave they asked me am I not annoyed? I asked why would I be? They said there was a screaming kid behind me who had been there most of the time we were. Normally this would drive me fucking crazy, but in my stoned haze I genuinely didn't even notice it.

I've since observed that when I'm sufficiently stoned on the right kind of strain I just walk around in a bubble and the noise of the outside world is actually subjectively less perceptible to me. It's not just that it bothers me less, it's that I actually notice it less and focus only on things I want to hear like music or the person I'm speaking to.

This is a huuuuge fucking deal to me. Normally small sounds people make around me bother me to no end and this is largely why I wear headphones most of the time (even if the music is paused). The fact that cannabis removes this issue, not just distracts me from it but makes me not even notice any of that stuff at all, is really big.
 

mr peabody

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Excess of immune cells found in the brains of people with autism

by Ashley Yeager | The Scientist | Jan 13, 2020

An accumulation of T cells and astrocytes in postmortem brain tissue hints at possible autoimmune origins for many cases of autism.

bout four years ago, pathologist Matthew Anderson was examining slices of postmortem brain tissue from an individual with autism under a microscope when he noticed something extremely odd: T cells swarming around a narrow space between blood vessels and neural tissue. The cells were somehow getting through the blood-brain barrier, a wall of cells that separates circulating blood from extracellular fluid, neurons, and other cell types in the central nervous system, explains Anderson, who works at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “I just have seen so many brains that I know that this is not normal.”

He soon identified more T-cell swarms, called lymphocytic cuffs, in a few other postmortem brains of people who had been diagnosed with autism. Not long after that, he started to detect another oddity in the brain tissue—tiny bubbles, or blebs. “I’d never seen them in any other brain tissue that I’ve looked at for many, many different diseases,” he says. Anderson began to wonder whether the neurological features he was observing were specific to autism.

To test the idea, he and his colleagues examined postmortem brain tissue samples from 25 people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 30 developmentally normal controls. While the lymphocytic cuffs only sporadically turned up in the brains of neurotypical individuals, the cuffs were abundant in a majority of the brains from individuals who had had ASD. Those same samples also had blebs that appeared in the same spots as the cuffs. Staining the brain tissue revealed that the cuffs were filled with an array of different types of T cells, while the blebs contained fragments of astrocytes, non-neuronal cells that support the physical structure of the brain and help to maintain the blood-brain barrier.

Reading the literature and drawing on his experience as a pathologist, Anderson started to think about blebs and what they do when they show up in tissues beyond the brain. "For example, in cancer, blebs are generated when T cells attack a tumor cell,” he explains.

“The tumor cells will spit out surface membrane pieces . . . as a way to protect themselves from the attack, but also possibly to deliver signals to other cells around them.” In the brain samples from individuals with ASD, the blebs visually resembled blebs created in response to tumors. The brain blebs may be formed in response to the infiltration of T cells into the space between blood vessels and neural tissue, Anderson suggests, while the cell fragments they contain could come from the astrocytes that make up the glia limitans—the final wall of defense separating neural tissue from foreign and toxic substances circulating in the blood.

Lymphocytic cuffs, meanwhile, are common in diseases such as skeletal muscle polymyositis, a type of chronic muscle inflammation. That disease has many traits of autoimmune disorders, in which the body perceives and attacks parts of itself as foreign, and it’s a disease that Anderson had often seen in biopsies. “I’ve seen many cuffs under the microscope,” he says. “So I know what a T-lymphocyte attack of an organ looks like.” The cuffs also show up in response to toxins, or antigens given off by a virus, and cause brain inflammation.


FRIENDLY FIRE: Swarms of lymphocytes (purple) in the space between blood vessels and neural tissue are more
common in postmortem brain samples from people with autism (left) than in samples from controls (right).

"The finding of both cuffs and blebs in the postmortem brains of autistic people suggests that the individuals’ T cells were also responding to some antigen—either a molecule considered foreign even though it’s created by the person’s own body, or a viral or bacterial one encountered in utero,"
Anderson says. Except for rare cases in which an autism-linked genetic mutation can be identified, the cause of ASD is unknown. According to the new data, a majority of the unexplained cases could have arisen as an autoimmune disorder or an inflammatory condition triggered during pregnancy, Anderson and colleagues concluded in a recent paper.

“It’s really a very striking finding,” says Dan Littman, an immunologist at New York University Langone Health. "The team’s results," he notes, "fit well with recent animal research showing a connection between the immune system and autism—specifically that interleukin-17 (IL-17), a signaling molecule produced by T cells to help fend off pathogens, can cause rodents to exhibit behaviors associated with autism."

In 2016, Littman and colleagues reported that blocking the production of IL-17 in pregnant mice prevented their pups from developing an autism-like condition. “You could imagine that if cytokine-producing cells in the central nervous system are localizing in particular places, they could be contributing to behavioral changes,” Littman says.

The findings also dovetail with what little has been described in the way of neuropathological features of autism in humans, Anderson says. Fifteen years ago, Carlos Pardo-Villamizar of Johns Hopkins University and colleagues studied postmortem brain tissues and cerebrospinal fluid from individuals with autism and found signs of neuroinflammation in the cerebral cortex, white matter, and cerebellum—regions essential for sensory perception and for motor skills such as balance and coordination. Transcriptional profiling of postmortem brains from individuals with autism revealed elevated levels of messenger RNAs that make inflammatory proteins, and more-recent data support the conclusion that the brains of individuals with autism are typically in an inflammatory state.

"While the Boston team’s discovery of T cell–induced inflammation associated with autism is noteworthy, the astrocyte blebs are particularly intriguing," notes Duke University neuroscientist Staci Bilbo. "The development of the blebs in reaction to the cuffs points to a role for the blood-brain barrier breaking down, something rarely studied in autism," she says. Looking further into the interaction between the cuffs and the blebs could reveal not only how, but why T cells are getting into the brain, giving clues to the origins of autism in cases driven by immune dysfunction.

Anderson says his team "has already started follow-up experiments, running transcriptome profiling of the cuffs and blebs." Infiltration of T cells into the space between blood vessels and neural tissue, and the subsequent generation of blebs, “almost for sure is going to trigger the expression of unique genes and proteins in the astrocytes, and may dissociate autism even more specifically from other conditions,” he says. His team is also looking at the receptors on the T cells in the cuffs to determine what’s provoking the immune cells to swarm. The researchers are studying all of the genes linked to autism and to autoimmunity as well—an analysis that has begun to reveal “a signature of an autoimmune genetics within the existing autism genetics,” Anderson says. “It’s a multi-pronged approach.”

 
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Blowmonkey

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Sounds I don't make myself can definitely be annoying, this has become less bothersome with age and weed, or the fact I have a constant beep in my ears now, but lately misophonia has been bothering me again in my depression. Weed is kinda funny in that it has dualistic effects, on the one hand it can intensify your emotions and make you more anxious and focus on pains or annoyances, on the other hand it can make you simply not care about a thing. It's the same regarding creativity I guess, it absolutely hampers mine because of my abuse, it's become an ehh fuck it all drug, no motivation and having a shoddy short term/working memory isn't exactly advantageous to the creative process.

Ofcourse it does give you a different perspective and perhaps valuable insights, like any psychedelic substance usually has the power of doing, but that's probably really reserved for the once in a blue moon user. Watch out with the headphones btw, lol, if sounds bother you don't get tinnitus, apparently pretty common ailment amongst the spectrum.

Oh and mountaintrails, you can still dry the peppers or make salsa out of them, they last longer that way anyways, becomes mailable too. :p

That video of the guy on mdma, that's funny. That reminds me of my own first couple of tries with weed. Didn't feel a thing till the 4th try or so, something you often see mentioned for some first timers. Reverse tolerance, yeah no, you're just autistic as fuck and not in tune with your emotions, no offense to anyone (just talking to myself). Perhaps that's where drugs come in handy, to connect the dots. And why not in childhood when the brain is developing and more receptive to (both positive and negative) changes, why do a lot of people on the spectrum end up with drug use disorders and start experimenting with them early on? Maybe because that's the extent of the help we're getting, insufficient. I'd rather be understood and understand myself without the aid of drugs, but those are pipe dreams

Yang gang 2020.
 

Wilson Wilson

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Sounds I don't make myself can definitely be annoying, this has become less bothersome with age and weed, or the fact I have a constant beep in my ears now, but lately misophonia has been bothering me again in my depression. Weed is kinda funny in that it has dualistic effects, on the one hand it can intensify your emotions and make you more anxious and focus on pains or annoyances, on the other hand it can make you simply not care about a thing. It's the same regarding creativity I guess, it absolutely hampers mine because of my abuse, it's become an ehh fuck it all drug, no motivation and having a shoddy short term/working memory isn't exactly advantageous to the creative process.
Yeah it really depends a lot on the strain, how much you take, and the ROA. More than most other drugs, ROA obviously has a huge effect on weed, which is why edibles can fuck you right up even if you smoke joints every day.

I find though sharing a joint with a couple mates gets me in the perfect zone where I'm more social and just chilled out. I only tend to get pranged out when I smoke too much of a potent sativa on my own and get stuck in my head. But even then I'm better at keeping a handle on the paranoia than I used to be. It only really causes a problem on strong edibles, then I reach for them benzos. But in most cases weed is very anxiolytic for me to the extent where it can replace benzos.

Watch out with the headphones btw, lol, if sounds bother you don't get tinnitus, apparently pretty common ailment amongst the spectrum.
Definitely need to care more about this than I currently do haha, my current pair of headphones can go really loud without any distortion. Excellent headphones but I need to use them responsibly. I should just smoke more weed instead.

Perhaps that's where drugs come in handy, to connect the dots.
You worded this perfectly imo. They do exactly that.
 

MountainTrails

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Sativas -- some of them generate an unpleasant headspace, raise anxiety, etc. Example, I can't stand Durban Poison. No thank you. Others seem fine. But generally I prefer hybrids, then indicas, then sativas, and look to relax, stretch--

Actually, that's a thing. I really enjoy stretching on certain strains. I will sit there and feel the muscles in my back especially, but also in my shoulders, and move around firing various muscles off and stretching them, adjusting alignments, and I'll do that for a long time. A good session has me a bit sore the next day. It seems like a proprioceptive thing.
 

MountainTrails

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Kava. For some reason that popped into my head.

I dabbled for a while with powder, and got the relaxation, but stopped because sometimes I'd get these intense, searing pains in my upper legs and rear. I'd be reduced to walking around slowly for hours -- anything to distract and make the pain less immediate -- until it slowly faded. The usual response for me when I get pain there is to think it's an IT band issue, and stretching provides relief. But nope, this pain wasn't touched by that. And I only got it during kava sessions.

I really have exactly zero idea what is going on, and never ran across any similar stories on the Internet. Anyone else seem to have odd responses to kava?
 

Wilson Wilson

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Sativas -- some of them generate an unpleasant headspace, raise anxiety, etc. Example, I can't stand Durban Poison. No thank you. Others seem fine. But generally I prefer hybrids, then indicas, then sativas, and look to relax, stretch--

Actually, that's a thing. I really enjoy stretching on certain strains. I will sit there and feel the muscles in my back especially, but also in my shoulders, and move around firing various muscles off and stretching them, adjusting alignments, and I'll do that for a long time. A good session has me a bit sore the next day. It seems like a proprioceptive thing.
Yeah I'm not a fan of the potent sativas either. I had Sour Diesel before which was very potent but just had me pranged out. Most of the stuff in the UK at least is hybrids now which is good, it used to all be just strong sativa of no specific strain, it was all just called "skunk", then it was "ammy and cheese" which was more of the same really, nowadays there's a choice of strains and I can always tell the difference. A lot more laid back weed going around now, a real positive step for sure.
 

MountainTrails

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I wrote about a typical MDMA experience for me earlier in the thread. A couple other people have kicked in with their own. Are there other autists reading this thread who are willing to share anything about their own, whether "typical" or "atypical"? A few more data points would be really valuable.

There's a Youtube video out there of another autistic experience. Some of us have watched it:

By the way, the lack of "likes" by me toward other posts is due solely to the restrictions I operate under as a new member. I'm getting there, slowly, in terms of post count.
 
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Wilson Wilson

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I outlined my typical MDMA reaction here but not in nearly as much detail as you did, if you want clarification on anything let me know and I'll be happy to answer.
 

schizopath

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@Wilson Wilson I have to change my mind how opiates affect me after recent experiences. They dont make me psychopathic at all. Thats propably from earlier combos with benzos. Opiates make me loving and caring.
 

Wilson Wilson

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@Wilson Wilson I have to change my mind how opiates affect me after recent experiences. They dont make me psychopathic at all. Thats propably from earlier combos with benzos. Opiates make me loving and caring.
Same here. Adding benzos to the mix makes me kinda "psychopathic" I guess you could say, but opiates on their own are definitely loving and empathetic vibes for me.
 

mr peabody

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KU Leuven, Belgium


'Love hormone' improves attachment issues in people with autism

by Tine Danschutter, Katrien Bollen, KU Leuven | Medical Xpress | 22 Jan 2020

Oxytocin, often dubbed the "love hormone," is known to promote social bonding. Researchers at KU Leuven have now discovered that administering oxytocin to adult men with autism makes them more open to close emotional bonds with others. The hormone has positive long-term effects as well. The researchers published their findings in the journals Molecular Autism and Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.

A team led by Professor Kaat Alaerts (KU Leuven) recruited 40 adult men with autism spectrum disorder to take part in their study.

"In a first stage, we examined the amount of oxytocin produced by the participants themselves. The subjects also filled out several questionnaires," Professor Alaerts explains. "An analysis of the data revealed that the amount of oxytocin found in the subjects' saliva was inversely related to their self-reported attachment issues."

In a second stage of the research, the team examined the long-term effects of administering oxytocin through a nasal spray. This experiment produced remarkable results: the participants who had been given oxytocin for four weeks experienced positive effects until up to a year later.

Less repetition, more attachment

"We divided the 40 participants into an experimental group and a control group. The control group received a placebo for four weeks," says doctoral student Sylvie Bernaerts, who is the first author of the study in Molecular Autism.

"Over the course of a full year, we also asked the participants to fill out questionnaires on four different occasions. These questionnaires were used to examine the impact of the oxytocin-containing nasal spray on the symptoms of autism."

In terms of social interaction, the researchers found no difference between the experimental group and the control group. But for repetitive behavior (including the need for routines) and attachment, the results were significant: "The people in the experimental group reported far less repetitive behavior and also reported fewer problems with forming close relationships."

This study shows for the first time what the long-term effects are of repeatedly administering oxytocin to people with autism. Professor Alaerts: "Participants who took oxytocin every day for four weeks experienced positive effects until up to a year later. That's a remarkable result."



Further research necessary

For this study, the scientists only selected male participants. This was partly because autism is more prevalent in men, and women's hormonal cycle may influence the test results. Furthermore, oxytocin is already being used to induce labor or breastfeeding in pregnant women or women who have recently given birth, respectively. In other words, there are more factors to take into account in female test subjects.

And what about using oxytocin as a treatment? "As oxytocin is already being used in medicine, you might think that we can start using it quite soon to address attachment issues or to reduce repetitive behavior in people with autism," says Professor Alaerts. But she is quick to temper expectations: "The findings we're presenting today are the result of a first pilot study. A lot of further research needs to be done before oxytocin can be used to treat people with autism."

 
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