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Oxytocin in Psychiatry

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14 papers 25 to 100 followers
By Abraham Nunes Psychiatry resident interested in computational neuroscience, forensic psychiatry, and neuropsychiatry.
Ruth Feldman, Mikhail Monakhov, Maayan Pratt, Richard P Ebstein
Oxytocin (OT), a nonapeptide signaling molecule originating from an ancestral peptide, appears in different variants across all vertebrate and several invertebrate species. Throughout animal evolution, neuropeptidergic signaling has been adapted by organisms for regulating response to rapidly changing environments. The family of OT-like molecules affects both peripheral tissues implicated in reproduction, homeostasis, and energy balance, as well as neuromodulation of social behavior, stress regulation, and associative learning in species ranging from nematodes to humans...
February 1, 2016: Biological Psychiatry
Adam J Guastella, Ian B Hickie
Observed impairment in reciprocal social interaction is a diagnostic hallmark of autism spectrum disorders. There is no effective medical treatment for these problems. Psychological treatments remain costly, time intensive, and developmentally sensitive for efficacy. In this review, we explore the potential of oxytocin-based therapies for social impairments in autism. Evidence shows that acute oxytocin administration improves numerous markers critical to the social circuitry underlying social deficits in autism...
February 1, 2016: Biological Psychiatry
Mouna Maroun, Shlomo Wagner
An ever-growing body of evidence suggests that the hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin plays a central role in the regulation of mammalian social behavior and relationships. Yet, mammalian social interactions are extremely complex, involving both approach and avoidance behaviors toward specific individuals. While in the past oxytocin was conceived merely as a prosocial molecule that nonselectively facilitated affiliative emotions and behavior, it is now recognized that oxytocin plays a role in a wide range of social relationships, some of which involve negative emotions such as fear, aggression, and envy and lead to avoidance behavior...
February 1, 2016: Biological Psychiatry
Sabine C Herpertz, Katja Bertsch
Borderline personality disorder is characterized by three domains of dysfunction: affect dysregulation, behavioral dyscontrol, and interpersonal hypersensitivity. Interpersonal hypersensitivity is associated with a (pre)attentive bias toward negative social information and, on the level of the brain, enhanced bottom-up emotion generation, while affect dysregulation results from abnormal top-down processes. Additionally, the problems of patients with borderline personality disorder in interpersonal functioning appear to be related to alterations in the (social) reward and empathy networks...
September 1, 2015: American Journal of Psychiatry
Valery Grinevich, H Sophie Knobloch-Bollmann, Marina Eliava, Marta Busnelli, Bice Chini
Oxytocin (OT) is a neuropeptide, which can be seen to be one of the molecules of the decade due to its profound prosocial effects in nonvertebrate and vertebrate species, including humans. Although OT can be detected in various physiological fluids (blood, saliva, urine, cerebrospinal fluid) and brain tissue, it is unclear whether peripheral and central OT releases match and synergize. Moreover, the pathways of OT delivery to brain regions involved in specific behaviors are far from clear. Here, we discuss the evolutionarily and ontogenetically determined pathways of OT delivery and OT signaling, which orchestrate activity of the mesolimbic social decision-making network...
February 1, 2016: Biological Psychiatry
F Uzefovsky, I Shalev, S Israel, S Edelman, Y Raz, D Mankuta, A Knafo-Noam, R P Ebstein
Empathy is the ability to recognize and share in the emotions of others. It can be considered a multifaceted concept with cognitive and emotional aspects. Little is known regarding the underlying neurochemistry of empathy and in the current study we used a neurogenetic approach to explore possible brain neurotransmitter pathways contributing to cognitive and emotional empathy. Both the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) and the arginine vasopressin receptor 1a (AVPR1a) genes contribute to social cognition in both animals and humans and hence are prominent candidates for contributing to empathy...
January 2015: Hormones and Behavior
Katrin Preckel, Dirk Scheele, Monika Eckstein, Wolfgang Maier, René Hurlemann
Moral decisions and social relationships are often characterized by strong feelings of ambivalence which can be a catalyst for emotional distress and several health-related problems. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) has been identified as a key brain region in monitoring conflicting information, but the neurobiological substrates of ambivalence processing are still widely unknown. We have conducted two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments involving 70 healthy male volunteers to investigate the effects of the neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) on neural and behavioral correlates of ambivalence...
July 2015: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Adrienne E Taylor, Hsu-En Lee, Femke T A Buisman-Pijlman
The role of endogenous oxytocin as neuromodulator of birth, lactation and social behaviors is well-recognized. Moreover, the use of oxytocin as a facilitator of social and other behaviors is becoming more and more accepted. Many positive effects have been attributed to intranasal oxytocin administration in animals and humans; with current research highlighting encouraging advances in its potential for use in mental health disorders. The new frontier will be investigating the effective use of oxytocin in pediatric populations...
2014: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Kasey G Creswell, Aidan G C Wright, Wendy M Troxel, Robert E Ferrell, Janine D Flory, Stephen B Manuck
Humans have a fundamental need for strong interpersonal bonds, yet individuals differ appreciably in their degree of social integration. That these differences are also substantially heritable has spurred interest in biological mechanisms underlying the quality and quantity of individuals' social relationships. We propose that polymorphic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) associates with complex social behaviors and social network composition through intermediate effects on negative affectivity and the psychological processing of socially relevant information...
June 2015: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Micah G Edelson, Maya Shemesh, Abraham Weizman, Shahak Yariv, Tali Sharot, Yadin Dudai
From infancy we learn to comply with societal norms. However, overt compliance is not necessarily accompanied by a change in internal beliefs. The neuromodulatory processes underlying these different phenomena are not yet understood. Here, we test the role of oxytocin in controlling overt compliance versus internalization of information delivered by a social source. After intranasal oxytocin administration, participants showed enhanced compliance to the erroneous opinion of others. However, this expression was coupled with a decrease in the influence of others on long-term memories...
March 2015: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Andrea Jobst, Sandra Dehning, Simone Ruf, Tobias Notz, Anna Buchheim, Kristina Henning-Fast, Dominik Meißner, Sebastian Meyer, Brigitta Bondy, Norbert Müller, Peter Zill
OBJECTIVE: Impaired social functioning and autistic symptoms are characteristics of schizophrenia. The social hormones oxytocin (OT) and arginine-vasopressin (AVP) both modulate social interaction and therefore may be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. We investigated whether men with schizophrenia show altered OT and AVP levels compared with healthy controls (HC) and whether autism symptoms are associated with OT levels. METHODS: Forty-one men with non-acute schizophrenia and 45 matched HC were enrolled...
December 2014: Acta Neuropsychiatrica
Takashi X Fujisawa, Shiho Tanaka, Daisuke N Saito, Hirotaka Kosaka, Akemi Tomoda
This study was designed to ascertain the relationship between visual attention for social information and oxytocin (OT) levels in Japanese preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We hypothesized that poor visual attention for social information and low OT levels are crucially important risk factors associated with ASD. We measured the pattern of gaze fixation for social information using an eye-tracking system, and salivary OT levels by the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). There was a positive association between salivary OT levels and fixation duration for an indicated object area in a finger-pointing movie in typically developing (TD) children...
2014: Frontiers in Neuroscience
E Quattrocki, Karl Friston
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder characterized by profound social and verbal communication deficits, stereotypical motor behaviors, restricted interests, and cognitive abnormalities. Autism affects approximately 1% of children in developing countries. Given this prevalence, identifying risk factors and therapeutic interventions are pressing objectives—objectives that rest on neurobiologically grounded and psychologically informed theories about the underlying pathophysiology. In this article, we review the evidence that autism could result from a dysfunctional oxytocin system early in life...
November 2014: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Agnese Di Napoli, Varun Warrier, Simon Baron-Cohen, Bhismadev Chakrabarti
BACKGROUND: Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) are a group of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by impairments in communication and social interaction, alongside unusually repetitive behaviors and narrow interests. ASC are highly heritable and have complex patterns of inheritance where multiple genes are involved, alongside environmental and epigenetic factors. Asperger Syndrome (AS) is a subgroup of these conditions, where there is no history of language or cognitive delay. Animal models suggest a role for oxytocin (OXT) and oxytocin receptor (OXTR) genes in social-emotional behaviors, and several studies indicate that the oxytocin/oxytocin receptor system is altered in individuals with ASC...
2014: Molecular Autism
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