Treatment with the hormone oxytocin boosts brain activity and improves recognition of emotions in people with autism, according to two small studies published in February1, 2.

Oxytocin is a chemical messenger linked to a long list of social behaviors, ranging from empathy to monogamy, in both people and rodents. Preliminary studies suggest that short-term treatment with oxytocin may boost social skills such as emotion recognition in some people with autism. The effects of long-term treatment have not yet been rigorously studied.

It has long been known that oxytocin plays a leading role in the bonding behaviour of mothers and their newly born children. There is now a growing list of scientific studies that indicate that oxytocin spray could be used as a basis for treating patients with autism or any other type of social cognitive problems.

Oxytocin is known as the ‘love hormone’. The incredible effects that this powerful hormone have on relationships, trust, and sexual and romantic attraction are well established and scientificly proven. Oxytocin effects both men and women, building rapport, attraction, interest, emotional and sex appeal. Ensure that Valentines Day is the most romantic day of your life with the world’s most famous oxytocin spray :
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Researcher in Australia claim that a modified version of the love hormone oxytocin may form a successful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal pain. Currently, there is no drug that directly treats bowel pain, despite up to 11% of Americans suffering from the illness. Using an ‘improved’ version of the oxytocin molocule, the team from the University of Queensland were able to create a drug that passed successfully into the digestive system. The researchers found that their oxytocin drug had ‘significant potential’ to alleviate the symptoms of chronic bowel problems.

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Oxytocin is known as ‘the love drug’ for its ability to enhance social interactions including maternal behaviour, partnership and bonding.

Professor Alewood, from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, said the molecule they had developed – a version of oxytocin with improved stability – showed significant potential in alleviating abdominal pain.

“It can potentially survive in the digestive tract until it reaches the gut,” he said.

“This molecule acts on oxytocin nerve receptors in the bowel, which display increased sensitivity in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.”

Professor Alewood said it had no effect on healthy gut tissue, which was an important advantage in drug development where minimising side effects is crucial.

Chronic abdominal pain is a major health problem, with irritable bowel syndrome alone affecting around 11 per cent of the Western population.

David Pearce is one of the most prominant philosophers of ‘Transhumanism’ – a movement which actively supports the idea the humans should improve themselves through science into something more than human. Pearce is a vegetarian and believes that through science it will be possible to build a pain free world for all sentient beings and that this should be a moral goal of humanity.

This utiliatarian philosopher, who believes that the basis of morality is the pursuit of happiness for all, has a particular interest in the hormone oxytocin and it’s possible uses in bringing about a better world in which people are more trusting and loving of each other, and other animals. He has a website devoted entirely to this end :

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  • It is believed that both men and women are more likely to be faithful to their partners when influenced by the love hormone oxytocin.
  • The best natural way to produce oxytocin in both yourself and another, and hence feelings of trust and intimacy, is to hug them or even have sex with them!
  • Oxytocin plays a key role in the reproductive system, from attraction, to breast feeding, to mother/child bonding.
  • Oyxtocin was first synthetically proudced soon after its precise amino-acid sequence was discovered in 1953.
  • Oxytocin has been shown to posess healing properties and to reduce inflammation.
  • Oxytocin is released by both men and women during orgasms and sex.

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A university researcher has been given $1.5 million to research oxytocin.

The ‘Love Hormone’ has been attracting increasing attention from both the media and science for its role in apparently everything from mother infant bonding to levels of trust between people.  Both government and pharma companies are throwing money at University teams researching the hormone in the hope that it may lead to cures for such things as  breast feeding problems and even autism and schizophrenia.

“Since the properties of oxytocin neurons change during pregnancy and lactation, we want to investigate the mechanisms underlying this adaptation, which maximizes the efficiency of oxytocin’s actions,” Armstrong said.

The grant, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development, will enable Armstrong to continue his research for the next five years.

Oxytocin may soon be added to the list of banned performance enhancing substances – at least for team sports – if a leading expert on the hormone is correct. Gert-Jan Pepping, a researcher at the Centre for Human Movement Sciences at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, claims that there is reason to believe that oxytocin plays a considerable role in enhancing team sport performance.

Consider, he says, what happens during soccer shootouts. For a study that he and his colleagues published in 2010, they watched replays of a multitude of penalty shootouts that had decided recent, high-pressure World Cup and European Championship games.

They found that when one of the first shooters threw his arms in the air to celebrate a goal, his teammates were far more likely to subsequently shoot successfully than when no exuberant gestures followed a goal.

The players had undergone, it seems, a “transference of emotion,” Dr. Pepping and his colleagues wrote. Emotions such as happiness and confidence are known to be contagious, with one person’s excitement sparking rolling biochemical reactions in onlookers’ brains.

In the shootouts, he says, each player almost certainly had experienced a shared burst of oxytocin, and in the rush of positive feeling, had shot better.

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Scientists have announced the lastest finding into the remarkable roles that oxytocin plays in love and social relationships. Already known as the love hormone on account of studies demonstrating its significance for bonding between mothers and children, sexual partners, and people in general, the latest research suggests that oxytocin might also be a factor in the degree that husbands stay faithful to their wives.

A nasal spray containing the hormone caused men with wives or long-term partners to keep a greater distance from attractive women but had no affect on bachelors, researchers found.

Although those in relationships did not judge the woman to be any less attractive, they began to feel uncomfortable more quickly when approached by the woman and asked her to remain further away.

Oxytocin, dubbed the “love hormone”, was already known for its role in attraction and bonding in both men and women, but had never been shown to play a lasting role in long-term relationships.

The findings suggest that boosting levels of oxytocin could help maintain marriages by preventing men from appearing interested in other women, researchers said.

Oxytocin is already used as a complimentary therapy by some marriage counsellers in the USA.

Another million dollar plus grant has been given to aid research into oxytocin as a possible treatment for autism, it was announced today. This new grant allows Norwegian researchers to more closely examine a novel method of nose to brain oxytocin delivery :

OptiNose US Inc. has announced that its Norwegian affiliate was awarded $2.1 million by the Research Council of Norway to study its nasal drug delivery technology in the treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

OptiNose will use this research grant to investigate “nose-to-brain” transport of oxytocin via the patented OptiNose Bi-Directional delivery technology for the treatment of ASDs. Partners who have agreed to collaborate with OptiNose in the project include the Department of Psychiatry at Oslo University Hospital, SINTEF and Smerud Medical Research and Norwegian academic insitutions.

A team at Rockefeller University New York have claimed that their research shows that oxytocin plays a very similar role in controlling sexual behaviour in animals as diverse as humans and worms.

“Our research shows that molecules similar to vasopressin and oxytocin have an ancient and evolutionarily conserved role in controlling a critical social behavior, mating,” says Cori Bargmann, Torsten N. Wiesel Professor and head of the Lulu and Anthony Wang Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior. “This work suggests that these molecules encode the same kind of information in the brains of very different animals.”

By identifying a peptide and two receptors in worms that share a similar molecular structure to the neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin in humans, scientists discovered that a species of worm that lacked the peptide were clumsy and inefficient sexual reproducers.

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