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Those Low on 'Love Hormone' May Have Less Empathy: Study

Posted 8 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 – People with low levels of the so-called "love hormone" oxytocin may have less empathy for others, a new study suggests. The findings hint that oxytocin replacement therapy could improve the well-being of people with low levels of the hormone, said the researchers at the University of Cardiff in Wales. Their study included 20 people with medical conditions that cause low levels of oxytocin and a control group of 20 healthy people. Those with low oxytocin levels did much worse on tests of empathy – awareness of other people's feelings. The study was to be presented Sunday at the Society for Endocrinology's annual meeting in Brighton, England. "This is the first study which looks at low oxytocin as a result of medical, as opposed to psychological, disorders. If replicated, the results from our patient groups suggest it is also important to consider medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon

The 'Love Hormone' May Quiet Tinnitus

Posted 23 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 – People suffering from chronic ringing in the ears – called tinnitus – may find some relief by spraying the hormone oxytocin in their nose, a small initial study by Brazilian researchers suggests. Oxytocin – dubbed the "love hormone" because it promotes social connections – might also help relieve the annoying and sometimes disturbing noises of tinnitus. "Oxytocin has actions in the brain and the ear that may help in tinnitus treatment and provide immediate relief," said lead researcher Dr. Andreia Azevedo. She is with the department of otolaryngology at the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo. But, at least one hearing specialist was unconvinced that oxytocin would help. And, even Azevedo said it isn't clear how oxytocin might work to relieve tinnitus. She speculated that it may have an effect in the ear, probably related to fluid regulation in the inner ... Read more

Related support groups: Tinnitus, Oxytocin, Hearing Loss, Pitocin, Syntocinon

'Love Hormone' Gene May Be Key to Social Life

Posted 21 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 – Lower activity of a specific gene may affect a person's social behavior, including the ability to form healthy relationships, researchers say. The OXT gene is involved in the production of oxytocin, a hormone linked with a large number of social behaviors in people. It's sometimes referred to as the "love hormone." The University of Georgia team assessed more than 120 people, conducting genetic tests and assessments of social skills, brain structure and brain function. The investigators found that those with lower activity of the OXT gene had a harder time recognizing emotional facial expressions and tended to be more anxious about their relationships with loved ones. These low-OXT people also had less activity in brain regions associated with social thinking. And they had less gray matter in an area of the brain important for face processing and social ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Contraception, Anxiety and Stress, Emergency Contraception, Social Anxiety Disorder, Postcoital Contraception, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Diagnosis and Investigation, Syntocinon

'Love Hormone' Nasal Spray Might Help Dieters' Self-Control

Posted 4 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, April 2, 2016 – In spray form, the "love hormone" oxytocin might aid weight loss, a small pilot study suggests. A single dose of oxytocin nasal spray decreased impulsive behavior in overweight and obese men, researchers found. "Impulsive behavior is an issue in obesity and results in overeating," said lead researcher Franziska Plessow, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a research fellow in the neuroendocrine unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "This could be a new, powerful way of helping obese individuals overcome their compulsive [eating]," Plessow said. "That's why we are excited about this." Much research needs to be done first, however. Plessow said her team plans to see if the spray has the same effect on women. Oxytocin occurs naturally in the human body and is important for controlling food intake and weight, the researchers said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon

'Love Hormone' Levels in Pregnancy May Point to Risk for Postpartum Depression

Posted 24 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 24, 2016 – Higher levels of the mother-child bonding hormone oxytocin during pregnancy may be associated with increased risk of postpartum depression in some women, researchers say. The findings suggest it may eventually be possible to develop a test to predict postpartum depression and provide preventive treatment during pregnancy. The study results are "not ready to become a new blood test yet," said lead investigator Dr. Suena Massey, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, in Chicago. "But it tells us that we are on the track to identifying biomarkers to help predict postpartum depression," she said. According to background notes with the study, oxytocin is a hormone that plays a role in aiding delivery and lactation, social bonding and stress management. The study included 66 healthy ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Postpartum Depression, Delivery, Oxytocin, Labor Induction, Pitocin, Postpartum Bleeding, Cervical Ripening, Cesarean Section, Labor Pain, Syntocinon, Hyperemesis Gravidarum with Metabolic Disturbance, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Oxytocin 'Love Hormone' Nasal Spray Shows Promise in Kids With Autism

Posted 27 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2015 – Oxytocin, the so-called "love hormone," may help improve social skills in autistic children, a small new Australian study suggests. "The potential to use such simple treatments to enhance the longer-term benefits of other behavioral, educational and technology-based therapies is very exciting," study co-author Ian Hickie, co-director of the Brain and Mind Center at University of Sydney, said in a university news release. Oxytocin, which occurs naturally in the human body, has been linked to social ties such as romantic coupling or the parent-child bond. The new study included 31 children, aged 3 to 8, with autism who received an oxytocin nasal spray twice a day for five weeks. The researchers report that kids who got the nasal spray showed significant improvements in social, emotional and behavioral problems, compared to kids who did not. The most common side ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon

Oxytocin, Alcohol Seem to Work on Brain in Similar Ways

Posted 20 May 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2015 – The so-called "love hormone" oxytocin affects human behavior in much the same way as alcohol does, British researchers report. Oxytocin is a hormone involved in mother-child bonding, social interactions and romance. Previous research has shown that oxytocin boosts socially positive behaviors such as generosity, empathy and altruism, and makes people more willing to trust others, the researchers said. The research team at the University of Birmingham analyzed existing research about oxytocin and alcohol and "were struck by the incredible similarities between the two compounds," researcher Ian Mitchell, from the School of Psychology, said in a university news release. "They appear to target different receptors within the brain, but cause common actions on GABA [an amino acid] transmission in the prefrontal cortex and the limbic structures. These neural circuits ... Read more

Related support groups: Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

'Love Hormone' May Help New Moms Heed Crying Babies

Posted 6 May 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 – A natural "love hormone" appears to give mothers the motivation to soothe and care for an upset newborn, Indiana University researchers report. Brain activation of the hormone, oxytocin, has long been linked to "feel good" responses such as nurturing, sex and physical intimacy, the research team noted. In the new study, the researchers wanted to see how it might work to direct new mothers toward the caring of infants, and away from other concerns, such as sex. "We know there are tradeoffs in terms of sexual responsiveness and in terms of attention to a new infant, who requires care and affection," study senior author Julia Heiman said in a university news release. She is a senior research fellow at the university's Kinsey Institute. The study involved mothers who had given birth within six months, as well as childless women. Heiman's team gave the participants ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Could the 'Love Hormone' Be a Weight-Loss Aid for Men?

Posted 6 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 – Preliminary research in a small number of men suggests that the "love hormone" oxytocin may reduce appetite, potentially turning it into a tool for weight loss. The new study tested a synthetic nasal formulation of oxytocin, and found the hormone treatment reduced the number of calories that men consumed, especially calories from fatty foods. "We are seeing early signs that oxytocin reduces how much food someone eats at a meal and improves the way their body handles blood sugar," said study lead author Dr. Elizabeth Lawson, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The hormone oxytocin is linked to many activities that bond people together, including sex, hugging, kissing, holding hands, giving birth and breast-feeding. In medicine, it's used to induce labor, manage bleeding in mothers after birth and coax out breast milk in nursing ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon

No Link Seen Between Oxytocin-Assisted Labor and ADHD

Posted 9 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

M0NDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 – Mothers who get an extra boost during labor with the medication oxytocin don't face a higher risk of having a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study says. If a woman giving birth stops progressing during labor, she might receive oxytocin (brand name: Pitocin) as "augmentation." This drug is a synthetic version of the oxytocin hormone involved in birth. It helps push labor along, increasing the likelihood that the cervix will continue dilating. But the hormone may have other effects, too. "Oxytocin has many functions, including affecting social interactions," said Dr. Glen Elliott, chief psychiatrist and medical director of Children's Health Council in Palo Alto, Calif. "Earlier studies were divided as to whether use of oxytocin to help labor progress increased the risk of the child later having a diagnosis of ADHD." The original ... Read more

Related support groups: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

'Love Hormone' Oxytocin May Play Key Role in Kids' Social Skills

Posted 4 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 – The "love hormone" oxytocin has a tremendous effect on kids' ability to function socially, Stanford University researchers report. Children blessed with naturally high levels of oxytocin are more savvy at communicating with others and interpreting social signals or situations, said study author Karen Parker, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Stanford. "The higher your oxytocin [levels], the better your social functioning," Parker said. The findings also showed that oxytocin levels are highly inheritable. Oxytocin is released during most activities that cause people to bond to one another – sex, hugging, kissing, holding hands, giving birth and breast-feeding, among them. The researchers noted that the original intent of their study was to determine whether children with autism had lower levels of oxytocin than children without the disorder. For years, ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon

'Love Hormone' May Help Those With Anorexia

Posted 13 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 – A small, preliminary study hints that a hormone connected to positive feelings could help ease obsessions with food and obesity in people with anorexia. "Patients with anorexia have a range of social difficulties, which often start in their early teenage years before the onset of the illness," senior study author Janet Treasure, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, in England, said in a university news release. "These social problems, which can result in isolation, may be important in understanding both the onset and maintenance of anorexia," Treasure said. "By using [the hormone] oxytocin as a potential treatment for anorexia, we are focusing on some of these underlying problems we see in patients." Oxytocin is sometimes called the "love hormone." It's released during bonding activities like childbirth and sex, and researchers have linked ... Read more

Related support groups: Anorexia, Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon

Hormones Might Offer Relief From Chronic Pain, Small Study Suggests

Posted 10 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, March 8, 2014 – A combination of two hormones might make a difference in reducing suffering in people with chronic pain, according to a small, preliminary study. Seven of 9 patients reported a 30 percent to 40 percent decrease in pain after taking doses of oxytocin and human chorionic gonadotropin, the researchers found. In addition, the level of opioid (narcotic) painkillers needed by these seven patients also declined by 30 percent to 40 percent. Patients also reported improvement in the intensity of pain flare-ups and longer time between flares, the study authors said. Oxytocin is known as the "love hormone" and has been linked to positive human emotions. Human chorionic gonadotropin plays a role during pregnancy. Levels of both hormones increase during and after childbirth, and they're thought to contribute to lower levels of pain in pregnant women. Study author Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxytocin, Pregnyl, HCG, Pitocin, Novarel, Chorionic Gonadotropin, Profasi, Chorionic Gonadotropin (Hcg, Ovidrel, Syntocinon, Profasi HP, Choron-10, Chorex, APL, Gonic, Chorigon

How the 'Love Hormone' Works Its Magic

Posted 25 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 – Scientists, and women everywhere, have long wondered exactly what keeps a man from straying with a stranger. From a biological perspective, at least, cheating is easy to understand. The more sexual partners a man has, the more likely he'll be to pass on his genetic material. So why do so many men settle down, get married and stick around to raise their kids? Researchers think they may have found a clue in oxytocin, a hormone released during sex and other intimate gestures like hugging or holding hands that's been proven to strengthen social bonds in other mammals. They found that the hormone appears to boost men's attraction to their mate – even when presented with pictures of other women. The findings are published in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the study, 20 men who were in committed relationships for 28 ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon

'Love Hormone' May Affect Social Connections

Posted 11 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 11 – Oxytocin, the so-called "love hormone," plays a larger role in social interactions than previously thought, according to a new study involving mice. The hormone is already known to be important in the creation and maintenance of strong mother-child bonds and sexual attachments between people. The new finding about oxytocin's influence on social interactions could have important implications for neurological disorders such as autism, and for the understanding of human social evolution, the Stanford University School of Medicine researchers said in a university news release. In earlier research, oxytocin has been examined for its apparent roles in establishing trust between people, and has been given to children with autism in clinical trials. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by difficulties in social interactions and communications. Now, in ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxytocin, Pitocin, Syntocinon

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