Posts Tagged ‘asperger’s syndrome’

HealthDay (4/2, McKeever) reported that, according to a study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, “low levels of” the “stress hormone” cortisol “may be responsible for the obsession with routine and dislike for new experiences common in children with” Asperger syndrome (AS). Researchers from the UK’s University of Bristol found that children with AS “do not experience the normal twofold increase of cortisol upon waking up. Levels of the hormone in their bodies do continue to decrease throughout the day, though, just as they do in those without the syndrome.” The investigators pointed out that cortisol “increases blood pressure and blood sugar levels…to signal the body’s need to adapt to changes occurring around it,” and that the “increase shortly after waking” is seen as helping “jump-start the brain for the day ahead.”
        Delving more into the study’s methodology, WebMD (4/2, Hitti) added that the researchers examined “salivary cortisol levels in 20 young men with Asperger’s syndrome and 18 typically developing men of the same age. Participants provided saliva samples upon waking, half an hour later, and about an hour before bedtime.” The study’s authors theorized that “not having that morning spike in cortisol levels may be linked to ‘an extreme need for sameness and resistance to change.'” Still, the study’s “findings don’t prove that; it’s not clear which came first, Asperger’s syndrome or steady salivary cortisol levels in the morning.”

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