The Secret behind Love and Autism Might Be the Same
While on one hand Tom Waits hopes that he doesn’t fall in love, on the other Maya Angelou famously said “first best is falling in love”.
Most of us wonder what exactly is this “falling” these word-wizards talk about.
Falling in love is the sensation caused by a combination of hormones in our brain and body that causes our cheeks to flush, pupils to dilate and our hearts to skip a beat every time we think of the special someone.
One of the prime hormones responsible for people falling in love is Oxytocin. This is the love hormone that is produced in our brains and stored in our hypothalamus. It is also extremely important during the induction of labor in pregnant women. Oxytocin also stimulates the release of milk from the mammary glands for the new-born and it decreases post-partum bleeding.
There might be a chance to find out what causes autism
Several neuro-developmental diseases have been shown to be dependent on hormonal secretion in our system. The lack or excess of certain hormones can cause a milieu of physiological problems that include simple and yet widely affecting hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus and blood pressure problems.
Hence, the study of hormone production and secretion both in vivo and in vitro is of extreme interest to many neuroscientists, molecular biologists, immunologists and bio-technologists.
Why is in vitro research needed?
In many cases, they isolate eukaryotic vectors that can carry such hormone producing genes and culture them in bacterial systems.
To check for the presence of the limited quantity of hormones secreted in these experiments, scientists can make use of simple yet effective metabolites of ocitocina or Oxytocin. In cases like these, where the selective expression of a gene is involved in an in vitro system, ELISA is not required.
Testing in vivo for the presence of the markers
But what if you want to study the relationship of autism and Oxytocin expression in a test subject? It has been already proven by Joshua J. Green et. al. that Oxytocin and vasopressin have key roles in this neuro-developmental disorder that affects over 1 percent of the world’s population. If that’s the case, then only qualitative assaying of the sample is not enough.
The Oxytocin content of the sample needs to be quantified as well.
Oxytocin ELISA provides the scope to check the presence of the hormone in a given test sample. The quantitative form of the ELISA can also determine the concentration of the hormone present to determine to expressivity of the disease in the test individual.
This is in fact, the most sensitive test available for detecting the levels of Oxytocin in the body and hence determines if the person may fall in the autism spectrum.