A Randomized Controlled Trial of Intranasal Oxytocin as an Adjunct to Behavioral Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Drs. Henin & Gabrieli are currently recruiting for a clinical research trial that studies the effects of 12-sesssions of two different types of talk therapy for young men with autism spectrum disorders. One therapy teaches social skills and the other teaches stress management in social situations. This study will also examine whether intranasal oxytocin administration prior to the treatment sessions will enhance the benefits of the therapy (compared to placebo). MRI scans are also being conducted to look for patterns in the brain that could indicate how individuals might respond to treatment.


Eligibility Requirements:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 30 years old
  • Have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (high-functioning autism, Asperger’s Disorder or PDD NOS)
  • Male
  • Can be taking medication, as long as it has been stable for 2 months
  • Have no intellectual disability, current acute suicidality, current severe depression or mania, or psychosis
  • Have no known neurologic, cardiac, or endocrine illness
  • Fluent in English


Participants receive:

  • An evaluation of autism spectrum symptoms, psychiatric diagnoses, and cognitive functioning
  • 12 sessions of cognitive-behavior therapy at no cost to them
  • An MRI scan at the MIT Martinos Center
  • Up to $220 and reimbursement for parking


Institution  –  MGH - Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

Principal Investigators  – Dr. Aude Henin and Dr. John Gabrieli


Enrollment Information: Interested participants should contact Dr. Henin’s research coordinator at 617-726-6324