Oxytocin, the hormone produced by the hypothalamus, reduces anxiety and relieves the patient’s mind from obsessive thoughts about the seeming obesity.
This hormone is already used to treat patients with autism, as oxytocin reduces anxiety and helps to prevent relapses in adults with autism.
Janet Treasure, an expert from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, came up with the idea to use oxytocin to treat anorexia.
According to Treasure’s report, patients with anorexia often have a bad self-image as they are unable to judge their appearance adequately; what is more, people with anorexia experience problems in interaction with other people.
“After taking oxytocin, level of aggression in patients with anorexia decreased dramatically. In addition to that, during one of the picture tests patients paid less attention to the images where people with obesity were depicted” — said Treasure during the interview with Science Codex.
The scientist added that it is only the beginning of the study, but she has great expectations for the possibility of using oxytocin in the treatment of anorexia.