Oxytocin – “The Love Hormone” – Improves Cognition in Schizophrenia


Oxytocin, which has “shown promise as a novel antipsychotic in multiple clinical trials,” improved cognition in a small sample (n=15) of people with schizophrenia diagnoses. Results appear online today in Schizophrenia Research.

Abstract → 

Feifel, D; MacDonald, K; Cobb, P; Arpi, M; “Adjunctive intranasal oxytocin improves verbal memory in people with schizophrenia.” Schizophrenia Research, online June 8, 2012.


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Oxytocin is the peptide that rushes through some animals (humans and prairie voles are two) when, for example, we snuggle our newborns.

    Can we first try to include our distressed friends and family members more generously into the circle of our communities instead of seeking and pushing yet another expensive treatment? Another expensive treatment with dangerous side effects that we will then force on folks, while they suffer in isolation, often in locked rooms?

    Are we seriously considering trusting and further enriching the companies that brought us neuroleptics to sell us oxytocin nasal spray as the next magic bullet that will keep our kids and us smiling and still?


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