A new way to treat PTSD–a dose of oxytocin, the love hormone

Giving prescribed does of ‘love hormone’ oxytocin to men suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can instill empathy and compassion in them toward women, reveals a study.

 

The researchers hope that in the future, oxytocin may be used as a treatment option in couple therapy as it may increase positive communication behaviours among partners, particularly among those where the husband suffers from PTSD.

 

The study found that a single intranasal dose of oxytocin enhances compassion — both in patients with PTSD and in healthy participants – but only toward women while it does not affect compassion toward men. ‘This provides new evidence that oxytocin may be able to improve the social behaviour of these patients,’ said professor Simone Shamay-Tsoory from the University of Haifa in Israel in a statement.