According to scientists, scientists believe that an oxytocin nasal spray could help treat alcoholism.
The study published in the journal PLOS Biology on Tuesday found that alcohol-dependent rats drank less after being given a dose of oxytocin, the "cuddle hormone".
The authors of the study – led by Drs. Tunstall, Koob and Vendruscolo of the National Institutes of Health and Drs. Kirson and Roberto of the Scripps Research Institute – believe their findings could translate into new pharmaceutical treatments for alcoholism, a publication said ,
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Oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the "cuddle hormone" or "love hormone", is released when people mate or hug, according to Medical News Today.
It has already been established that the hormone has a "promise" Possible treatment for substance abuse, as withdrawal symptoms and drug addictive behavior are lessened in several narcotics.
The researchers decided to test how oxytocin can reduce alcohol intake by giving doses of oxytocin through the nose (intranasally) and through the abdomen (intraperitoneally) of alcohol-dependent rats and normal rats, according to Study summary.
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Although both forms of oxytocin blocked increased alcohol consumption in alcohol-dependent rats, the abdominal hormone reduced movement while oxytocin was given to rats Not nose.
The researchers also investigated how oxytocin affected alcohol consumption and the signaling of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is located in a brain region heavily affected by alcohol dependence, the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA).
"The experiments showed that oxytocin systemically, intranasally or in the brain in alcoholic addicts, but not in normal rats blocked alcohol consumption," the statement said. "In addition, oxytocin blocked GABA signaling in CeA."
"Taken together, these results provide evidence that oxytocin is likely to block increased drinking by altering the transmission of CeA-GABA," the statement went on.