T Nation

Testosterone and Autism

Testosterone is undoubtedly the most prolific hormone in human physiogonomy, nothing else does what it does.
In the newest issue of Pyschology Today, it was noted that during early development, testosterone tells the body how to develop in a well, masculine manner.
Other than just the skeletal system, this includes brain development researchers argue–which is why men and women have different types of brains (i.e. men have more non-functional white matter while women have more functional gray matter).
Due to this researcher Baron-Cohen, among other neuroscientists have come to the conclusion that Autism can be caused by high levels of testosterone in the womb.
Their reasoning, which can be found in “The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain” is based off of studies which show baby boys who had had excess pre-natal levels of testosterone made less eye contact and knew fewer words by in the first one to two years of infancy. They also cited the belief among neuroscientists that testosterone influences a deccellerartion of growth of the left brain (that which controls logic) and an acceleration of the right brain’s (that which is creative) growth.
To quote the author of the study Baron-Cohen “Maybe testosterone does more than affect spatial ability and language. Maybe it also affects social ability.”
Note: autism is ten times more likely to occur in males than females–until now, there has been no real explanation for this.

Much of this is new information which has yet to stand the test of time. But if true it could go a long way toward finding a cure/treatment for autism.

I’m not trying to force this down anyone’s throat (or into their heads, for that matter), or even saying I believe it, but it is yet another interesting point about our favorite hormone.

So thats</i> why I have this right brain, bohemian, short attention span, I-dont-want-to-know- it-I-want-to-see-it, always original spin on things…Makes so much sense now. ;0)

Look out for the new Oprah show:
Mom, I bathed in too much Testosterone!
(or is it that my balls were leaking out into the placenta???) ;0)

Nevermind. LOL

Hmm, I can think of a person I know that this already wont fit.

The best man at my wedding is a fraternal twin, and his twin brother is autistic, enough so that he wasn’t even able to stay at home due to his varied emotional state. I’m not talking mild autism, or anything like rainman. Talking about totally wired, screaming at top of his lungs, very hard to control autistic. Yet, my friend isn’t autistic at all, doesn’t have any noticeable abilities in typical left brain things, and is perfectly normal in his right brain ability.

I guess something in the womb could play a part, and maybe one baby was affected by it and the other wasn’t, but it doesn’t seem likely to me. Either that or they could be just a statistical oddity, i’m obviously no scientist.

Anti-LIke I said it’s new stuff that or may not have merit.
I wonder if they could do t-levels on young children who have autism as a test to support/refute this.
Here’s another thing that doesn’t make sense: If autism is caused by excess t-levels and high t-levels cause a shrinking of the left brain that controls math, how come there are some autistic people that are amazingly good at math?