Trust drug may cure social phobia

By Coconut · May 22, 2008 · ·
  1. Coconut
    Sounds interesting to me. I can see it being used to help people with paranoia have working relationships with friends and spouses, although I see a potential for abuse here. For example, using it to make people gullible, such as in a police interrogation or as another method to add to the list of "enhanced interrogation techniques".

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  1. ~lostgurl~
    Increased risk of gambling addiction? Could this also mean an increased risk of other addictions?
  2. Heretic.Ape.
    hehe I couldn't get past the first line that people would trust people with their money even after being betrayed. Soon they will be putting this into the ventilation systems at political events
  3. Panthers007
    I can see the Republikans rigging TV sets to spray a mist of this out of the speakers whenever a Republikan campaign ad is aired.
  4. Lunar Loops
  5. silenius
    older article: june 2005

  6. Heretic.Ape.
    hmm... if I get some of this and mix it with something euphoric and somewhat psychedelic (E maybe?), I can finally start my cult muhahaha!
  7. Zentaurus41
    Oxytocin is released during an MDMA trip, ya know.
  8. FuBai
    Hey, bashful – hormone may treat shyness (Sunday Times)

    Consipracy theorists are going to love the idea of a medically proscribed drug for "shyness" that makes you trust eveyone. The police would certianly have a use for it.
  9. ~lostgurl~
  10. FuBai
    Re: Hey, bashful – hormone may treat shyness (Sunday Times)

    It's an article from today's paper and, whilst I don't know if it introduces new information that is not already posted, one would imagine it would, seeing as one of the articles you have mentioned was already covered by the Sunday Times last year.
  11. vinylmesh
    Re: Hey, bashful – hormone may treat shyness (Sunday Times)

    Oxytocin doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier.Maybe a tiny amount does when you spray it nasaly but from what i've heard the effects are almost un-noticeable, definately not loved-up euphoria.
    If such nasal sprays really worked then we'd have dopamine nasal sprays ect.
    They're already working on oxytocin agonists.
    It's oxtocin that's responsible for the "loved up" effects of MDMA.

    I read this article about non-peptide oxytocin agonists;


    Also there's one called Carbetocin.I'm not sure if it crosses the blood-brain barrier.

    Ecstasy has loads of nasty side effects not to mention that users quickly develop a tolerance.When these drugs have been developed I suspect MDMA usage will drop considerably.
  12. cra$h
    Re: Hey, bashful – hormone may treat shyness (Sunday Times)

    oxycontin for shyness? swim thinks not. swim will find that he's better at standing up for himself while on oxycodone, but will not make him social. If anything, swim becomes antisocial, and only wanting to be around at most 5 people. and that's even pushing it. If they want to cures shyness, they should use uppers. drugs like aderall makes swim very talkitive, inquizitive, and very sociable
  13. Nature Boy
    Re: Hey, bashful – hormone may treat shyness (Sunday Times)

    Oxycodone and oxytocin are two very different drugs. Don't confuse oxytocin with oxycontin.
  14. ShawnD
    Re: Hey, bashful – hormone may treat shyness (Sunday Times)


    There we go.

    This sounds like great news. This might even put a dent in illegal drug use if it works properly.
  15. Nature Boy
    Re: Hey, bashful – hormone may treat shyness (Sunday Times)

    Yes, that is a bit of a strange example about the restaurant customers. I think the restaurateurs themselves would need it more.
  16. Panthers007
    Re: Hey, bashful – hormone may treat shyness (Sunday Times)

    What next? McDonalds handing out joints in their Happy-Meals to give kids the munchies and badger their parents for a repeat visit?

    Sounds a bit from the far-fetched gallery.
  17. ShawnD
    Re: Hey, bashful – hormone may treat shyness (Sunday Times)

    Asian restaurants already do this.
    "Glutamic acid stimulates specific receptors located in taste buds such as the amino acid receptor T1R1/T1R3 or other glutamate receptors like the metabotropic receptors (mGluR4 and mGluR1) which induce the taste known as umami, one of the five basic tastes (the word umami is a loanword from Japanese; it is also referred to as "savoury" or "meaty")."

    Sneaky Asian bastards! ;)
  18. kaczynski
    "Trust Drug:" Cure for social phobia or fascist sneak attack?

    A nasal spray which increases our trust for strangers is showing promise as a treatment for social phobia, say scientists from Zurich University.

    They found that people who inhaled the "love hormone" oxytocin continued to trust strangers with their money - even after they were betrayed.

    Brain scans showed the hormone lowered activity in the amygdala - a region which is overactive in social phobics.

    Drug trials are under way and early signs are promising say the scientists.

    Nicknamed the "cuddle chemical", oxytocin is a naturally produced hormone, which has been shown to play a role in social relations, maternal bonding, and also in sex.

    Lead researcher Dr Thomas Baumgartner said: "We now know for the first time what exactly is going on in the brain when oxytocin increases trust.

    "We found that oxytocin has a very specific effect in social situations. It seems to diminish our fears.

    "Based on our results, we can now conclude that a lack of oxytocin is at least one of the causes for the fear experienced by social phobics.

    "We hope and indeed we expect that we can improve their sociability by administering oxytocin."

    Powerful effect

    Previous studies have shown that participants in "trust games" took greater risks with their money after inhaling the hormone via a nasal spray.

    In this latest experiment, published in the journal Neuron, the researchers asked volunteer subjects to take part in a similar game.

    They were each asked to contribute money to a human trustee, with the understanding that the trustee would invest the money and decide whether to return the profits, or betray the subject's trust by keeping the profit.

    The subjects also received doses of oxytocin or a placebo via a nasal spray.

    After investing, the participants were given feedback on the trustees. When their trust was abused, the placebo group became less willing to invest. But the players who had been given oxytocin continued to trust their money with a broker.

    "We can see that oxytocin has a very powerful effect," said Dr Baumgartner.

    "The subjects who received oxytocin demonstrated no change in their trust behaviour, even though they were informed that their trust was not honoured in roughly 50% of cases."

    In a second game, where the human trustees were replaced by a computer which gave random returns, the hormone made no difference to the players' investment behaviour.

    "It appears that oxytocin affects social responses specifically related to trust," Dr Baumgartner said.

    Defence barriers

    During the games, the players' brains were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

    The researchers found that oxytocin reduced activity in two regions which act as natural "defence barriers".

    They are the amygdala, which processes fear and danger, and an area of the striatum, which helps to guide future behaviour, based on reward feedback.

    The amygdala has been found to be extremely active in the brains of sufferers of social phobia.

    Dr Baumgartner's colleague, Professor Markus Heinrichs, has begun a study where social phobia sufferers are given either oxytocin or a placebo, in combination with cognitive and behavioural therapy.

    The trials are ongoing, but Dr Baumgartner said that early signs appear "promising".

    The hormone could also be a candidate for treating patients with autism, he says.

    "Autistic people also have a fear of social situations and have problems interacting, so it is very likely that oxytocin could help," he said.

    "This hormone seems to play a very specific role in social situations so might be able to improve autism. But so far I am not aware of any studies."

    Mauricio Delgado, a psychologist at Rutgers University, said: "This study has significant implications for understanding mental disorders where deficits in social behaviour are observed.

    "While a degree of wariness may protect one from harm, being able to ''forgive and forget'' is an imperative step in maintaining long-term relationships.

    "The reported oxytocin finding could provide a bridge for potential clinical applications."
  19. Frond
    Re: "Trust Drug:" Cure for social phobia or fascist sneak attack?

    Nice. I predict we'll see this as an anti-depressant pretty soon, since it seems that the easiest way to spread a drug throughout the population is either as a prescription painkiller, or an anti-depressant. How much of the US population is on SSRIs of some sort?

    The potential for abuse here, if this is true, is astronomical.

    Oh no! Think of the children! We have kids in school that may suffer from anxiety disorder, and may not like their peers, or distrust what they hear from their teachers in Health and History class! We need Oxytocin to be administered for the sake of our future generations!
  20. kaczynski
    Re: "Trust Drug:" Cure for social phobia or fascist sneak attack?

    Imagine the crippling effects on freedom if everyone with a little social anxiety gets put on this drug that has clinically been demonstrated to cloud people's judgment and make them trust someone even after being betrayed.
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