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Those Low on 'Love Hormone' May Have Less Empathy: Study
Medical conditions can affect ocytocin levels

By Robert Preidt

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- People with low levels of the so-called "love hormone" oxytocin may have less empathy for others, a new study suggests.

The findings hint that oxytocin replacement therapy could improve the well-being of people with low levels of the hormone, said the researchers at the University of Cardiff in Wales.

Their study included 20 people with medical conditions that cause low levels of oxytocin and a control group of 20 healthy people. Those with low oxytocin levels did much worse on tests of empathy -- awareness of other people's feelings.

The study was to be presented Sunday at the Society for Endocrinology's annual meeting in Brighton, England.

"This is the first study which looks at low oxytocin as a result of medical, as opposed to psychological, disorders. If replicated, the results from our patient groups suggest it is also important to consider medical conditions carrying a risk of low oxytocin levels," lead researcher Katie Daughters said in a society news release.

Oxytocin is stored in the pituitary gland, a pea-sized organ in the base of the skull. People who have had pituitary surgery may be potential candidates for oxytocin replacement, the researchers suggested.

These are only preliminary results. Further research and peer-review are needed to confirm the findings.

More information

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, has more on empathy.

SOURCE: Society for Endocrinology, news release, Nov. 6, 2016

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=716546

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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