Stanford Autism Research: Vasopressin Treatment Trial for Children with Autism

Researchers & Authors Seeking Parents/Kids
Palo Alto
School-Aged, Preteens, Teens

Stanford University researchers are currently recruiting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to participate in a research study which tests the effects of intranasal vasopressin on social functioning.

What is vasopressin?

Vasopressin is a naturally occurring hormone that has been identified as a potential treatment to improve social functioning in people with autism. We are looking to see if vasopressin will improve behavioral difficulties and other core deficits in autism such as social deficits. 

Who is eligible for this study? 

Your child must be: 

  • Diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Between the ages of 6 and 17 years
  • Willing to take a vasopressin or placebo nasal spray for at least 8 weeks and provide blood samples
  • Willing to participate in behavioral and cognitive testing
  • Free of serious medical problems

If your child is eligible for the study, your child will be randomly assigned to receive either vasopressin or a placebo (fake) nasal spray as follows: 1) Vasopressin-vasopressin, in which participants will be on active vasopressin for the entire 8-week dosing period. 2) Placebo-vasopressin, in which participants will be on placebo for four weeks and then switch to active vasopressin for the remaining four weeks. 3) Placebo-placebo, in which participants will be on placebo for the entire 8-week dosing period. Participants in this group will have the option of continuing in the open-label extension phase during which they will receive the vasopressin spray for 4 weeks. 

What is the time commitment?

This research study is expected to take at least 6 visits within a period of up to 14 weeks. During these visits, we will be administering questionnaires and laboratory assessments, obtaining medical histories and physical health data, and conducting clinical assessments to determine if vasopressin helps your child’s social behavior. 


You will receive $60 for the first visit and $30 for each additional visit: up to $210 for children who received vasopressin during the 8 week trial and up to $270 for children receiving only the placebo during the trial who complete the optional extension study.



Questions? Please feel free to contact us at: Phone: (650)736-1235

Email: avpclinicaltrial [at]

Lara Minassians
avpclinicaltrial [at]