Relationship of plasma oxytocin levels to baseline symptoms and symptom changes during three weeks of daily oxytocin administration in people with schizophrenia

Mary R. Lee, Heidi J. Wehring, Robert P. McMahon, Fang Liu, Jared Linthicum, Joseph G. Verbalis, Robert W. Buchanan, Gregory P. Strauss, Leah H. Rubin, Deanna L. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Several clinical studies have found an inverse relationship between clinical symptoms and peripheral oxytocin (OT) levels in people with schizophrenia. As oxytocin is a putative treatment for schizophrenia, the effect of repeated dosing of OT on OT levels, clinical symptoms and the relationship between the two is of interest. In a, randomized, double blind, parallel group 3 week study (N = 28) with daily administration of intranasal OT (20 IU twice daily) or placebo (PBO), we examined the effect of OT administration on the correlation between the change in peripheral OT levels and change in clinical symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. At baseline, there were no significant treatment group differences in OT levels. There were no significant associations between baseline OT levels and any symptom measures. After 3 weeks of OT/PBO dosing, there was no significant difference in the magnitude of change in OT levels between the two treatment groups. Correlations between changes in peripheral OT levels and changes in the BPRS total and negative symptom scores were not different between treatment groups. Larger studies are needed to examine the effect of exogenous OT on peripheral OT levels and the relationship between the latter and clinical symptoms.Clinical Trials.gov = NCT00884897.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-168
Number of pages4
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume172
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Intranasal
  • Negative symptoms
  • Oxytocin
  • Oxytocin levels
  • Positive symptoms
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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