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A cautionary note on oxytocin as a treatment for psychiatric disorders

The hormone oxytocin is known for its widespread effects on social and reproductive processes, and recent data from intranasal administration in humans has produced hope for its use as a therapeutic in autism, schizophrenia, and other disorders. However, this leap to human use is happening without previous animal studies of long-term oxytocin administration, and without knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms involved in the behavioral findings. A new study indicates that the promising short-term effects often observed after a single dose of oxytocin may not translate to positive effects after long-term administration.
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