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Hormonal Changes Analysis by Effects of Horses Assisted Therapy in the Autistic Population

By Carmen Tabares Sánchez, Florencio Vicente Castro, Susana Sánchez Herrera and Javier Cubero Juánez

Abstract

AbstractThe aim of this work is to objectively verify whether Horses Assisted Therapy leads to an improvement of social attitudes in people with autism, analysing, through saliva samples, by the enzyme immunoassay technique ELISA, the hormonal levels of Cortisol and Progesterone and infer the behaviour of Oxytocin, before and after the therapy sessions. A non-random convenient sample is performed, approaching a group of eight autistic children (n=8).The results show a statistically significant decrease in Cortisol levels in saliva in Pre-Therapy in relation to Post-Therapy (Pre- Therapy 8.71±1ng/ml vs Post-Therapy 6.58±0.63ng/ml). Additionally, the Progesterone levels in Pre-Therapy are significantly less than in Post-Therapy (Pre-Therapy 32.78±7.60pg/ml vs Post-Therapy 60.05±6.72pg/ml). This leads us to determine in an approximate way the behaviour of the Oxytocin hormone, whose levels in Pre-Therapy will be less than in Post-Therapy.We therefore conclude that Horses Assisted Therapies lead to an improvement of social attitudes in the treatment of people with autism

Publisher: The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Year: 2014
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.04.282
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