Psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia can be treated with oxytocin, which is a love hormone, according to a new research.
Scientists working on this have found some encouraging evidence that oxytocin could in fact be useful to treat certain mental health diagnoses. This is true most particularly when it comes to those that onvolve impaired social functioning. The hormone oxytocin is most familiar for the role it plays in initiating labour and for the breast milk flow in pregnant women.
Dr. David Cochran from the University of Massachusetts Medical School along with his colleagues found evidence of oxytocin’s involvement in the power of social decision making, evaluating and responding to social stimuli. Thus based on these effects the researchers have come to believe that oxytocin may be a common factor involved in certain psychiatric disorders. Hence, oxytocin could one day be used as a treatment agent to improve some aspects of social cognition and also for reducing repetitive behaviours in patients with autism spectrum disorders.
The authors of the research also discussed a case report wherein there was a significant reduction in autism severity with oxytocin. The only controlled trial of long term oxutocin treatment showed some kind of improvement in identifying emotions and quality of life measures.
"The evidence suggests a role of oxytocin in the pathophysiology of some psychiatric disorders, particularly those characterised by impairments in social functioning," Cochran and coauthors wrote.
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