Acta Neuropsychiatrica finds, in a review of the evidence regarding oxytocin’s (OT) role in psychosis, that it shows “efficacy in reducing core symptoms in patients with schizophrenia,” but that “the neurobiological underpinnings of schizophrenia as well as the dynamics of the human OT system are complex and inadequately characterised.”
MadDonald, K., Feifel, D., “Oxytocin in Schizophrenia: a Review of Evidence for its Therapeutic Effects,” Acta Neuropsychiatrica, June, 2012, 24(3):130-146
Prosocial effects of oxytocin and clinical evidence for its therapeutic potential
A critical review of the influence of oxytocin nasal spray on social cognition in humans: Evidence and future directions
Oxytocin as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Schizophrenia and Other Neuropsychiatric Conditions
Are we there yet? The clinical potential of intranasal oxytocin in psychiatry
Note from Kermit Cole, “In the News” editor:
As with many things that are posted here in “Mad in America,” my interest in looking at this research on oxytocin & psychosis can be characterized as not so much “here is the answer” but rather “if this one thing is true, what does it mean?” I believe that is the spirit that motivated, for instance, Bob Whitaker’s initial interest that resulted in two books and this website. That is the spirit that may best drive and shape participation in this website.
If it is true that oxytocin, a hormone associated with love & attachment, has some effect on phenomena associated with schizophrenia & psychosis, what does it mean? In the confluence of human experience, behavior, emotion, cognition, physiology & attachment, what does it say that this hormone seem to have this effect?
It may or may not turn out that this substance offers a better alternative than others as a treatment. But the research may open a window onto a nexus of psychosis & attachment; perhaps the one within which dialogical and family-based approaches to working with psychosis find their effect.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.