Oxytocin abuse?
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Conference on Oxytocin

Next week is a conference on "The Neurohypophyseal Hormones." These are the hormones secreted by the neurohypophysis, otherwise known as the rear lobe of the pituitary gland.

Larry Young, of Emory University's Center fir Behavioral Neuroscience, studies the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in monogamy. He'll give a keynote presentation on their roles in social and emotional behavior including parenting, promiscuity and romance. He also will discuss their possible role in autism.

I'm seeing more and more such references to the potential for treating autism with oxytocin. I think researchers are reluctant to put this out to the public, because it's still rather speculative. But the idea makes sense: Because such neurochemicals are involved in at least two ways: First, they activate the portions of the brain involved in attachment and social interaction. Second, they produce the body reactions we experience as emotions of love, trust and connectedness.

This is another conference I wish I could attend. I'll try to contact Young in the next few weeks and see if he'll share his ideas.

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