Help for Depression: Oxytocin Nasal Spray

Posted: October 19th, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: Empathy, Healing, News | Tags: Mental Health, Oxytocin | No Comments »

A study done by researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), tested the effects of oxytocin nasal spray on patients with depression. By using brain imaging technology, a group of depressed patients that was given a dose of intranasal oxytocin was compared in their ability to "read the mind in the eyes" versus that of a control group. Key regions of the brains of the test subjects showed more activity than in the untreated group.

Sagittal MRI slice at the midline.Image via Wikipedia


This is potentially good news for those suffering from depression. Although the study makes no claims regarding oxytocin's effects on those without depression, an interesting finding is that the treatment group – those who received oxytocin – is less disconnected from others in a social setting. This allows for greater interactions, and that's what we've come to expect from this hormone.

To read more about the MUSC study, go here.

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