Friday, June 26, 2015

the trust hormone

"In mammals, many mysteries remain. Oxytocin is difficult to measure reliably in the brain, making it hard to know exactly where, when and how much is normally released; nor do scientists understand precisely how it works to alter behaviour."

This could mean only the most overt deficiency can be measured.  If hypopituitarism is interfering with oxytocin getting into the brain, this can't be measured, because it's actually produced by the hypothalamus, and may be at normal levels in the bloodstream, regardless.  This also means that supplementing oxytocin will have no effect, because this gets it into the bloodstream, but still needs to get across the blood brain barrier to actually do anything there.

This may be why studies on the impact of inhaling oxytocin have been less than conclusive.  It doesn't necessarily get where it needs to go, especially in someone with a condition which might be the result of that very issue.
"The hormone does not act alone. In 2013, neuroscientist Robert Malenka at Stanford University in California and his colleagues showed that oxytocin works together with the neurotransmitter serotonin to reduce the excitability of neurons in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in reward."
The reward of social interaction would be undermined on two different levels, then.  The reward of everything else, possibly diminished, as well.  I imagine this might be a little depressing,  and demotivating, not to mention all the anxiety of distrusting everyone.

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I am so tired of this.  I'm so tired of everyone thinking I'm wrestling with imaginary demons, here.

Wait, who is "everyone?"  Is that unfair?  Do you think I should trust people more?

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