Autism - The Guardian
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Autism - The Guardian

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Autism - The Guardian Autism - The Guardian Document Transcript

  • ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others Level 3 Advanced 1 Key words Complete the sentences using these key words from the text. placebo bonding autism nasal cognitive side effect hormone scan therapy inanimate 1. _________________ means relating to your nose. 2. A _________________ is a natural substance produced by your body that controls important physical processes such as those relating to growth and sexual development. 3. _________________ is a serious mental condition that makes it difficult for someone to react to other people and communicate with them. 4. A _________________ is a medical test that uses special equipment to produce an image of the inside of your body. 5. A _________________ is a form of treatment for an illness or medical condition. 6. _________________ is the development of a special close relationship between people. 7. A _________________ is a substance that is not a medicine, used as a standard of comparison in testing the effectiveness of a new medicine. 8. An _________________ object is not alive. 9. A _________________ science or process is one that is connected with recognizing and understanding things. 10. A _________________ is an effect of a medicine that is not intended and could be unpleasant. 2 Correct the statements These statements are all false. Read the text and change the sentences so that they are correct. 1. More than one in ten people suffer from autism. 2. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. 3. A single dose of oxytocin improved brain responses to inanimate objects. 4. The youths tested in the experiment were aged between eight and 17. 5. The effects of oxytocin only last for four or five minutes. H O N •P CA NEWS LESSONS / ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others / Advanced T © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014 O FR BE C O DO O M W P W N IA EB LO B SI A L TE DE E D • 6. Oxytocin only affects behaviour and not brain activity.
  • ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others Advanced Researchers find that nasal sprays laced with oxytocin help youngsters interact better, but the effects do not last long Ian Sample 2 December, 2013 1 A nasal spray laced with the ‘Love hormone’ oxytocin could help children with autism learn to handle social situations better, US researchers claim. Scans of children with autistic spectrum disorder showed that a single dose of the chemical improved brain responses to facial expressions, a shift that could make social interactions feel more natural and rewarding for them. 2 The scientists behind the research said a course of oxytocin might boost the success of behavioural therapies that are already used to help people with autism learn to cope with social situations. “Over time, what you would expect to see is more appropriate social responding, being more interested in interacting with other people, more eye contact and more conversational ability,” said Kevin Pelphrey, director of the Child Neuroscience Lab at Yale University. 3 Autism is a developmental disorder seen in more than one in 100 people. The condition affects individuals in different ways, but is characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication. So far, there is no established treatment for the social problems caused by autism. 4 Researchers at Yale have studied the brain chemical oxytocin as a potential treatment for the social impairments caused by autism because it plays a crucial role in bonding and trust. Results have been mixed, though: one recent study found no significant benefit for youths given the chemical over several days. But Pelphrey said oxytocin might help the brain learn from social interactions; it would work best when used with therapies that encourage people with autism to engage more socially, he said. “Our study shows that oxytocin affects the brain and opens up the possibility that, when combined with behavioural treatments, it works like a social enhancer,” he said. 5 The scientists used a technique called functional MRI to scan the brains of 17 youths aged eight to 16 with autism while they looked at images of cars or the eyes of people expressing various emotions. The scans were given 45 minutes after the participants inhaled a placebo or oxytocin through a nasal spray. 6 The scans showed that reward circuitry in the children’s brains behaved more normally after a snort of oxytocin, being more active when the person was looking at faces and less active when viewing the inanimate cars. The study appears in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. 7 “If this is replicated, it suggests that oxytocin might treat something for which we don’t have a treatment in autism, and that’s the core social motivation,” Pelphrey told the Guardian. 8 He warned that it was too early to use oxytocin as a treatment for the social difficulties caused by autism and cautioned against buying oxytocin from suppliers online. “We don’t want them running out on the basis of this study or any other and trying oxytocin at home. There is no telling what they are buying. We are nowhere near thinking this is a ready treatment. It needs more follow-up,” he said. “This is an important new study in identifying changes in brain activity in key regions of the brain involved in social cognition in autism following oxytocin administration,” said Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University. 9 A surprising finding, however, is that oxytocin nasal spray did not change performance on the social cognitive task. Nor is it clear yet if oxytocin only has benefits for people with autism or has any unwanted side effects. Finally, oxytocin effects only last about 45 minutes, so there may be practical considerations as to whether this could be used as a treatment. 10 “From a scientific perspective, this study has a lot of evidence from animal and human work to justify serious attention, but more research is needed. Doctors should be cautious about the clinical potential of this hormone until we know much more about its benefits and risks, in much larger studies.” Said Simon Baron-Cohen. 11 Uta Frith, who studies autism at University College London, said: “According to this study, oxytocin may have the effect of making faces more interesting as assessed by greater activity in brain structures concerned with reward evaluation. Disappointingly, this effect is seen only in brain activity and not in behaviour. Demonstrating an effect on behaviour will be critical if nasal spray treatment is to be of any value.” © Guardian News and Media 2013 First published in The Guardian, 02/12/13 H O •P CA NEWS LESSONS / ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others / Advanced T © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014 O FR BE C O DO O M W P W N IA EB LO B SI A L TE DE E D • ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others, study shows N Level 3
  • ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others Level 3 Advanced 3 Comprehension check Choose the best answer according to the text. 1. Oxytocin … a. … is a cure for autism. b. … could help autistic children handle social situations better. c. … has a strong impact on behaviour. 2. Oxytocin … a. … should be bought from suppliers online. b. … is not a ready treatment. c. … can be tried at home. 3. Oxytocin … a. … has side effects. b. … doesn’t have side effects. c. … might have side effects. 4. According to experts, oxytocin … a. … is interesting and is worth further study. b. … is a convincing therapy for autism. c. … should be used as a 45-minute treatment. 4 Find the word Find the following words and phrases in the text. 1. a two-word verb phrase meaning put a small amount of a drug into a drink or food (para 1) 2. a verb meaning help something to increase, improve or become more successful (para 2) 3. a noun meaning the study of the brain (para 2) 4. a noun meaning the fact that your body is not able to perform a particular function fully (para 4) 5. a noun meaning something that helps to improve something (para 4) 6. a noun meaning a dose of a drug taken through the nose (para 6) 7. a two-word phrasal verb meaning warn someone not to do something (para 8) H N •P CA NEWS LESSONS / ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others / Advanced O T © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014 O FR BE C O DO O M W P W N IA EB LO B SI A L TE DE E D • 8. a noun meaning the action of giving someone a drug (para 8)
  • ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others Level 3 Advanced 5 Verb + noun collocations Match the verbs in the left-hand column with the nouns and noun phrases in the right-hand column. 1. handle a. side effects 2. play b. social situations 3. express c. social problems 4. have d. a role 5. cause e. attention 6. justify f. emotions 6 Word-building Complete the sentences using the correct form of the word in brackets at the end of each sentence. 1. __________________, oxytocin only seems to have an effect on brain activity and not on behaviour. [DISAPPOINT] 2. Oxytocin may help autistic children make more eye contact and have more __________________ ability. [CONVERSATION] 3. Oxytocin could be used in combination with other __________________ treatments. [BEHAVIOUR] 4. Autism is __________________ by difficulties in social interaction and communication. [CHARACTER] 5. Autism causes various social __________________. [IMPAIR] 6. Experts advise against buying oxytocin from ____________ online. [SUPPLY] 7 Discussion O H •P CA NEWS LESSONS / ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others / Advanced T © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014 O FR BE C O DO O M W P W N IA EB LO B SI A L TE DE E D • • What benefits could oxytocin have, on the one hand, and what reasons are there for people to be cautious, on the other hand? Would you buy medicines from online suppliers? Why? Why not? N •
  • ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others Level 3 Advanced KEY 1 Key words 5 Verb + noun collocations 1. nasal 2. hormone 3. autism 4. scan 5. therapy 6. bonding 7. placebo 8. inanimate 9. cognitive 10. side effect 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 2 Correct the statements 1. More than one in 100 people suffer from autism. 2. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the brain. 3. A single dose of oxytocin improved brain responses to facial expressions. 4. The youths tested in the experiment were aged between eight and 16. 5. The effects of oxytocin only last for 45 minutes. 6. Oxytocin only affects brain activity and not behaviour. b d f a c e 6 Word-building 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. disappointingly conversational behavioural characterized impairments suppliers 3 Comprehension check 1. 2. 3. 4. b b c a 4 Find the word O H •P CA NEWS LESSONS / ‘Love hormone’ helps autistic children bond with others / Advanced T © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014 O FR BE C O DO O M W P W N IA EB LO B SI A L TE DE E D • lace with boost neuroscience impairment enhancer snort caution against administration N 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.