Dr. Karen Parker: The Causes & Treatments for Autism


Huberman Lab

In this episode, my guest is Dr. Karen Parker, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the Social Neurosciences Research Program at Stanford University School of Medicine. We discuss the biology of social connections and bonding in babies, children and adults. Dr. Parker explains our current understanding of autism and autism spectrum disorders: what they are, why the incidence of autism has increased so dramatically in recent years and both the current and emerging treatments for autism. We also discuss the condition formerly called “Asperger’s.” This episode ought to be highly relevant for anyone interested in child and human development, how social bonds form, and to those curious about autism and other spectrum conditions.

For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com.

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(00:00:00) Dr. Karen Parker

(00:01:30) Sponsors: Eight Sleep, LMNT & AeroPress

(00:06:25) Autism, Frequency, Diagnosis

(00:10:41) Early Interventions; Heritability & Autistic Traits

(00:13:00) Autistic Spectrums; Studying Autism

(00:21:29) Environment, Risk Factors & In Utero Development

(00:29:55) Sponsor: AG1

(00:31:26) Oxytocin, Vasopressin, Social Behavior & Parent-Child Bonding

(00:43:240 Oxytocin in Humans; Social Features of Autism, Intranasal Oxytocin

(00:54:14) Sponsor: InsideTracker

(00:55:16) Oxytocin & Autism; Benefit & Risks

(01:06:30) Neuroplasticity & Autism; Early Intervention; Challenges of Early Diagnosis

(01:14:30) MDMA & Autism

(01:17:05) Vasopressin, Social Interaction; Voles & Parenthood

(01:27:07) Human Social Connection, Oxytocin Levels & Autism

(01:33:45) Primate Model of Social Impairment

(01:42:47) Preclinical Animal Models, Mouse & Primates

(01:47:11) Primates, Biomarkers & Social Connection; Vasopressin

(01:52:20) Vasopressin Levels & Autism, Children & In Utero

(02:03:06) Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) & Vasopressin; Urination; Alternative Therapies

(02:10:32) Intranasal Vasopressin, Children, Autism & Social Responsiveness

(02:19:15) Vasopressin & Social Connection, Mechanism & Future Studies

(02:26:35) Gut Microbiome & Vasopressin; Scientific Funding

(02:34:52) Vasopressin Pathways, Social Behavior, Autism

(02:43:00) Vaccine Theory & Autism; Immunology

(02:54:06) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter


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