Oxytocin nasal spray may even eventually be used to treat depression, after researchers at the Medical School of South Carolina discovered that when depressed subjects inhaled the spray, their brain activity began to resemble that of normal volunteers.
Oxytocin, a hormone which is produced by breast-feeding mothers and by both genders during sexual activity, could eventually be used as an antidepressant, say researchers.
According to Dr. Ziad Nahas, a researcher at the Medical School of South Carolina, when depressed subjects inhaled the hormone, their brain activity began to more closely resemble that of healthy subjects.
Oxytocin has been linked to social bonding and attachment, said Nahas, and acts as a stress reliever. Since depressed individuals feel anxious and socially disconnected, oxytocin might help them feel less depressed.