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Oxytocin May Be Promising Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa

Reuters reports on new research that has explored the role that oxytocin, a hormone released naturally in human bonding, including during sex, childbirth and breastfeeding, may play in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. Patients with anorexia and control subjects were administered either oxytocin or a placebo and were asked to look at images of high and low calorie foods, images related to body weight, and images of positive or negative facial expressions. Anorexic patients given oxytocin spent less time fixating on “negative images” of both food and facial expression. Since one of the hallmarks of anorexia nervosa is also a hypersensitivity to negative emotions, scientists speculate that oxytocin may play a promising role in the treatment of the psychological causes of anorexia.

Read the article published by Reuters.