Hormones are your body's chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs.
They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes, including growth and development, metabolism, sexual function and mood.
Some people think that the hormonal system in some individuals on the autism spectrum does not work properly and this causes or worsens some of the symptoms of autism.
They also think that some of those problems can be overcome by regulating (changing) the amount and action of those hormones.
In some cases this means taking additional quantities of a specific hormone (such as melatonin). Hormones can be taken in a variety of ways including via injections, infusions, tablets, skin patches or inhalers.
In some cases this means taking medications (such as leuprolide) to reduce the amount and effect of the hormones (such as testosterone).
Specific hormones which have been suggested as treatments for people on the autism spectrum include melatonin, oxytocin, secretin, and vasopressin.
This glossary is designed to explain some of the jargon and gobbledygook used by some people when they talk about autism or research..
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The fact that an intervention is listed in this glossary does not necessarily mean that we agree with its use. Nor does it necessarily mean that there is any scientifically valid or reliable evidence behind it.