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Oxytocin and Schizophrenia

November 8, 2012 Oxytocin and Mental Illness, Uncategorized No Comments

Schizophrenia is a highly damaging psychological disorder with massive costs to anyone who suffers from it. While there are many different types of treatments available as a prescription and as supplements alongside psychosocial treatments, the highly serious and complex nature of the disorder means that medical professionals are always keeping their ear to the ground in the hope that a new treatment will come along, and oxytocin is proving to be a highly promising candidate. This article will go over the causes of the disorder, and then delve into oxytocin and its potential.

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a wide-reaching mental disorder with many different causes and symptoms. Causes include:

• Genetic – The chances of becoming schizophrenic in life are increased by having a relative, and especially a close relative with the disorder. This naturally points towards genetic inheritance as a leading factor, though research suggests that many different genetic contributions are involved.

• Environmental – There are many different environmental factors which can increase the likelihood of schizophrenia later on in life. Early adult development seems to be more important than parenting in early life. Modern phenomena such as urban environments have often shown a related increase in cases of the disorder.

• Substance abuse – The link between psychoactive drugs, and psychosis and schizophrenia have always been apparent, and there is now more than enough evidence to suggest a strong link between such psychoactive drugs such as amphetamines and cannabis (1).

To determine whether or not a potential candidate has schizophrenia, many different symptom criteria must be evaluated, such as hallucinations, delusions and delusional behavior, poor communication, disorganized speech and behavior, and social problems. In general, people who suffer from schizophrenia have poor social skills, find it hard to build and maintain relationships, and have a general sense of apathy.

What is oxytocin?

The human brain is a melting pot of electrochemical signals and chemical generation, sending out information and signals to other parts of the brain and body which ultimately shape the way we think, move and take part in life. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain which releases many important endocrine hormones, including growth hormones, dopamine, vasopressin and oxytocin.

The last hormone mentioned – oxytocin – is a fairly inconspicuous, yet highly important, hormone which kicks into action when we are in the midst of social interaction. Its effects include the feeling of well-being and happiness, and it helps to form trust and empathy between members of a social group, or an intimate couple. A healthy interest in other people, empathy, and friendship development are all made possible thanks to the role that oxytocin plays, and people who have problems with anxiety, depression, or other problems that relate to and can affect social interaction have hailed the benefits of treatment with oxytocin.

Could oxytocin help with schizophrenia?

The use of oxytocin in helping to alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia is a fairly new field of study, so there is not a great deal of unanimous data to rely on. However, there is a great deal to suggest that oxytocin’s therapeutic benefits in the treatments of people with psychotic illnesses will be very large. A thorough review of clinical literature (including human patient trials) which deals with oxytocin was made very recently (2), and all the evidence supports the potential for oxytocin as an antipsychotic medicine.

Oxytocin is well known to help with social interaction, which is good here because people who suffer from schizophrenia often have problems with social interaction. So oxytocin may not only combat hallucinogens and psychosis, but also make human interaction easier and more rewarding for the patient. Additionally, the safety of the hormone is high enough that it is already freely available on non-prescription. All in all medical professionals are seeing oxytocin as an auspicious hormone indeed (3).

If you are looking for oxytocin on your own, then make sure you check with your physician that you are able to take it. Oxytocin Factor provides supplemental oxytocin at highly affordable prices. There are two different formulations; a sublingual liquid which is dripped underneath the tongue, and a nasal spray.

(1) - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735806001140
(2) - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1601-5215.2011.00634.x/abstract
(3) - http://www.shockmd.com/2011/02/21/oxytocin-in-schizophrenia-and-autism/

For more information contact Bryan Post, Managing Editor of Oxytocin Central info@oxytocincentral.com or call (405) 476-1983

 

 

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