Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intranasal application of oxytocin appears to enhance placebo response

Date:
October 22, 2013
Source:
American Medical Association (AMA)
Summary:
A study has been conducted to test whether oxytocin enhances the placebo response in an experimental placebo analgesia model.

The hormone oxytocin may mediate processes such as empathy, trust, and social learning. These are key elements of the patient-physician relationship, which is an important mediator of placebo responses, according to background information in a Research Letter appearing in the October 23/30 issue of JAMA. Simon Kessner, of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany, and colleagues conducted a study to test whether oxytocin enhances the placebo response in an experimental placebo analgesia model.

Between January and September 2012, the researchers randomly assigned 80 healthy male volunteers to 40 IU of intranasal oxytocin or saline. The researchers and participants were blinded to study drug identity. After 45 minutes, placebo analgesia was assessed using the following standard technique. Two identical inert ointments were applied to 2 sites on each participant's forearm. The ointments were described as an anesthetic that reduces pain (placebo) and an inert control cream (control). In the 15 minutes following application that the participant expected the anesthetic to take effect, the researchers calibrated the intensity at which a 20-second painful heat stimulus was perceived by each individual to rate as a 60 on a scale ranging from 0 (no pain) to 100 (unbearable pain). During the subsequent test phase, a series of 10 of those calibrated stimuli was applied to each of the 2 sites in randomized order. The primary outcome was the placebo analgesic response, defined as the reduction of perceived pain intensity on the placebo site compared with the control site in the oxytocin and saline groups.

Despite identical stimulation on both sites, the difference in pain ratings at the placebo and pain sites were greater in the oxytocin group than in the saline group due to lower pain ratings at the placebo site.

"To our knowledge, our study provides the first experimental evidence that placebo responses can be pharmacologically enhanced by the application of intranasal oxytocin," the authors write. "Further studies are needed to replicate our findings in larger clinical populations, identify the underlying mechanisms, and explore moderating variables such as sex or aspects of patient-physician communication."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Medical Association (AMA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Simon Kessner; Christian Sprenger, MD; Nathalie Wrobel, MSc; Katja Wiech, PhD; Ulrike Bingel, MD. Effect of Oxytocin on Placebo Analgesia: A Randomized Study. JAMA, October 2013

Cite This Page:

American Medical Association (AMA). "Intranasal application of oxytocin appears to enhance placebo response." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022170630.htm>.
American Medical Association (AMA). (2013, October 22). Intranasal application of oxytocin appears to enhance placebo response. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022170630.htm
American Medical Association (AMA). "Intranasal application of oxytocin appears to enhance placebo response." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131022170630.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) The World Health Organization called Tuesday on governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, warning that they pose a "serious threat" to foetuses and young people. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) A British nurse infected with Ebola while working in Sierra Leone is being given the same experimental drug used on two US missionaries who have recovered for the disease, doctors in London say. Duration: 00:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins