Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

The Perinatal Application of Synthetic Oxytocin and Its Possible Influence on the Human Psyche and the Etiology of Autism

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

The Perinatal Application of Synthetic Oxytocin and Its Possible Influence on the Human Psyche and the Etiology of Autism

Article excerpt

Abstract: Autism is currently occurring in one in 10,000 children in Europe. The incidence in the US has been steadily increasing over the last years to a figure at least 4 times as high. It has become an issue of primary importance for modern society. Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the body, which is released in the posterior pituitary gland and controls a number of bodily functions. However, since the 90's, its psychoactive component is being investigated and is becoming very meaningful in diagnosis and therapy of both psychiatry and psychology. Since the 60's synthetic oxytocin has been used in Gynecology to induce labor. This article has emerged from over a decade of working with new-born babies and adolescents. The thesis herein is that the use of synthetic oxytocin in childbirth can have consequences for the psyche of the child, for the important time after the birth, and for the remainder of life. Its use should, therefore, be carefully considered. Typical features of the autism spectrum disorders contain characteristics of disturbance of the oxytocin system in the body. In the USA almost 80% of all births are set under influence of synthetic oxytocin. Through the course of the years, the author has devised a treatment for the affected children and adults, and consequently clarified its principles. The author is of the opinion that early disturbance of the innate oxytocin system may be a factor in the etiology of many cases of autism.

Key Words: Synthetic oxytocin, oxytocin, perinatal, autism, isopathy

The Chemistry Of Oxytocin

Oxytocin was discovered by Sir Henry Dale in 1906. He found that extracts of the posterior pituitary gland could produce a stimulating effect on the uterus. Already in 1960, synthetic oxytocin was available on the pharmaceutical market. In the synthesis of oxytocin several other forms are produced, with extra amino acids attached to one end. These "pro-hormones" are collectively known as oxytocin-X, and have been found in the peripheral circulation of women. Oxytocin-X may occupy the receptor site of oxytocin, effectively blocking the effect of the hormone (Mitchell & Schmid, 2001). An immature form of oxytocin, oxytocin-X, is also detectable in the blood of the newborn, with levels higher than oxytocin itself. Postnataly, the newborn produces increasing amounts of mature oxytocin. For example, in fetal rats at term, virtually no mature oxytocin is produced, but by day seven postnatal, more than 50% of oxytocin is in its mature form (MuellerHeubach, Morris, & Rose, 1995). Higher ratios of oxytocin-X to oxytocin have been found in autism.

Oxytocin has a short half-life in the blood, making its direct effects transient. It is supposed that all vertebrates possess an oxytocin (and vasopressin) equivalent, which would mean that oxytocin is around 500 million years old (Acher, Chauvet, & Chauvet, 1995). Through stimulations such as sucking, sexuality (Anderson & Dennerstein, 1994; Arigolas, 1992; Arletti, Bazzini, Castelli, & Bertolini, 1985), birth (Alexandrowa & Soloff, 1980) and different types of positive and negative stress, the nonapeptide is carried into the body circulation through the posterior pituitary gland. likewise, it seems to play a large part in masculine sexuality. Through animal testing, oxytocin was found in the testes, the epididymis, and the prostate. It seems to have a function in ejaculation, which in some mammals, changes the contractility in the tubuli seminiferi (Insel, Young, & Wang, 1997).

Oxytocin also modulates our experience of pain (Arletti, Benelli, & Bertolini, 1993). Memory and mood are also influenced through the release of this hormone (Arletti, Benelli, Poggioli, et al, 1995), as is the modulation of the autonomous nervous system (Armour & Klassen, 1990; Welch, Tamir, Gross, et al, 2009). Oxytocin has an important role in digestion and nutrient absorption. Its beneficial effect on colitis has been established (Welch, Anwar, Chang, et al, 2010). …

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