JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!
Petri Oeschger/Getty Images

Authors of a new study believe a nasal spray containing the "love hormone" oxytocin may aid in the treatment of alcoholism.


On Tuesday scientists published a study in the PLOS Biology journal citing findings that may lead to new possibilities in the treatment of alcoholism.

The study, led by Drs. Tunstall, Koob and Vendruscolo of the National Institutes of Health and Drs. Kirson and Roberto of The Scripps Research Institute found that alcohol-dependent rats drank less after being given of dose of the "love hormone" oxytocin.


Also known as the "cuddle hormone", oxytocin is naturally released when people hug or bond and is "associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building"

Researchers decided to test the neuropeptide which has already been shown to decrease drug seeking behavior and withdrawal symptoms for a number of other narcotics.

Scientists administered doses of the hormone through the nose and through the abdomen in alcohol dependent and normal rats. While both doses were found to decrease alcohol consumption in dependent rats those given through the stomach also decreased movement.

The authors of the study also examined how the hormone affected the neurotransmitter GABA which helps regulate anxiety along with with vision and motor control.

Alcohol is thought to mirror the effect of GABA in the brain's central nucleus of the amygdala, a region keenly affected by alcohol dependency. Excessive drinking overstimulates the GABA pathways.

The findings showed that doses of oxytocin mimics those GABA signals.

"Taken together, these results provide evidence that oxytocin likely blocks enhanced drinking by altering GABA transmission" wrote lead author Dr Brendan Tunstall.

"These results provide evidence that aberrations in the oxytocin system may underlie alcohol use disorder."

The findings were met with mixed reaction.




The full study can be found on the PLOS Biology journal.

We aren't perfect. There's plenty of things in our pasts that we look back and cringe at.

That being said, sometimes those cringe moments go far past cringe. Sometimes they get to the point of no return awfulness because that's where our human nature took us in this moment.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by elizabethaferry from Pixabay

I don't miss high school or the people in it. People who seem to have peaked in high school also weird me out. How? Why? I can definitely tell you that life got much more interesting the older I got (my 20s were way more fun than any of my time in high school). If you were to ask me if I have any regrets, I suppose I would say that I wish I had been more assertive and stood up for myself more. Depression has a way of complicating goals like that, though. Let me tell you: It feels nice to be so much healthier than I was then.

After Redditor Sub2735 asked the online community, "What's your biggest regret from high school?" people shared their stories.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

When we are on the outside looking in, it can feel so obvious that a relationship is doomed.

When we offer advice to friends, family, or people oversharing at a party, the correct next move often seems wildly obvious: get out of that relationship.

Keep reading... Show less

Some people don't take breakups very well. And those that don't can sometimes engage in behavior that others might view as bothersome, unsettling, even toxic.

Others engage in abusive behavior during the relationship, a major red flag that some people might not take seriously until it's too late.

After Redditor XYZ3110 asked the online community, "What's the creepiest thing an ex has done?" people shared their stories.

Keep reading... Show less