Medical News & Perspectives |

Scientists Probe Oxytocin Therapy for Social Deficits in Autism, Schizophrenia

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2011;305(7):659-661. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.117.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Emerging evidence indicates that oxytocin plays an important role in human social interactions, and preliminary clinical studies suggest the hormone may help improve social functioning in individuals with autism or schizophrenia. But experts caution that much remains to be learned about oxytocin and its physiological effects before it is ready for clinical use.

Oxytocin has long been known to help facilitate mother and infant bonding. Research on the socially monogamous prairie vole has demonstrated that the hormone plays a much wider role in helping to establish social bonds among animals. The animal findings have led to studies in humans to assess how exposure to the hormone affects human interactions, including early clinical studies in individuals with social impairments related to such disorders as autism and schizophrenia.

Figures in this Article

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview


Place holder to copy figure label and caption

Graphic Jump LocationImage not available.

Studying the social interactions of prairie voles has led scientists to believe that oxytocin plays an important role in mediating social bonds. Preliminary clinical studies suggest the hormone might benefit individuals with disorders that involve social deficits.

(Photo credit: Todd Ahern, PhD/Emory University)



Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Topics
PubMed Articles