Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Oxytocin therapy, hopeful or not?

Oxytocin is one of the hormones existing in the human body and brain. Its effects on the mind have been focused in recent years.

For example, some studies suggest injecting oxytocin enhances sympathetic emotion. It is expected to be a remedy for autistic disorders. This hypothesis was originated from the phenomenon that oxytocin is released when the person feels lovely to others, such as mothers hugging her baby.

However, the results of clinical research using this "love hormone" are controversial. Some studies showed desirable outcome, whereas others resulted in miserable failure.

Indeed, injecting oxytocin into the human body causes several adverse effects, including paradoxical phenomena.

Therefore, researchers are eager to detect a substance which can work similarly to oxytocin. An agonist to stimulate oxytocin receptor selectively would be a solution.

This direction of the research seems hopeful. A study with mice ended successfully, according to the article below.

Independent: Scientists create new ‘love hormone’ that they say could treat mental illness

Oxytocin is a hormone whose secretion has not been modified by medicine ever before. Therefore, this kind of research has a great potential, I believe. Of course, it is unlikely that adding single hormone will solve all the problems. Nonetheless,  we will be able to consider better combinations of several approaches to medical problems.

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