Given the paucity of information on the possible role of oxytocin (OT) in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), our study aimed at evaluating plasma OT levels in a group of 44 OCD outpatients, as compared with a similar group of healthy control subjects. At the same time, the relationships between OT and clinical features and romantic attachment characteristics were examined as well.
Diagnosis was assessed according to DSM-IV-TR criteria, while the OCD severity was measured by means of the Y-BOCS rating scale. All patients were drug free and not depressed. The romantic attachment was assessed by means of the Italian version of the ‘Experiences in Close Relationships’ questionnaire. Plasma OT levels were evaluated by means of a standard RIA kit.
The main findings of our study showed that OT levels were increased in OCD patients, as compared with healthy subjects, and negatively related to symptom severity. Positive relationships were detected between OT levels and the fearful-avoidant and dismissing styles of romantic attachments, but only in male OCD patients.
Taken together, these findings suggest that OT may play a role in OCD pathophysiology and also in the romantic attachment of patients with gender specificity.
Marazziti D, Baroni S, Giannaccini G, Catena-Dell”Osso M, Piccinni A, Massimetti G, Dell”Osso L. Plasma Oxytocin Levels in Untreated Adult Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Patients. Neuropsychobiology. 2015 Oct 29;72(2):74-80. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26509891.
Pubmed link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26509891