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What is oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a neuromodulatory neuropeptide that is important for the correct processing of emotional stimuli in a social context. It has been proposed that difficulties in social cognition in schiozphrenia and other disorders such as autism, are underpinned by disruption in the dopaminergic/oxytonergic circuitry linked to socio-emotional processing. Oxytocin has been linked to prosocial behaviours in some studies, but not in others. So, oxytocin effects may be moderated by features of the social environment or individual differences.

What is the evidence for the efficacy of adjunctive oxytocin?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests adjunctive oxytocin may have a small to medium-sized benefit for improving symptoms. Low quality evidence is unable to determine any benefit of oxytocin for social cognition.


August 2016

Page last updated: 6:18  20 January 2018

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