Added: Omara Kincer - Date: 29.01.2022 22:34 - Views: 25223 - Clicks: 4170
By Emma Young. Studies in rats suggest the drug causes a brain surge of oxytocin — the hormone that helps bond couples, as well as mothers to their babies. Earlier research found increased oxytocin in the blood of people who had taken ecstasy.
Iain McGregor at the University of Sydney in Australia, and his colleagues studied the effects of ecstasy in rats, which, like people, become more sociable on the drug. The team gave the rats the equivalent of two to three ecstasy tablets in an adult human and found that the drug activated oxytocin-containing neurons in an area of their brains called the hypothalamus. When they gave the rats a drug that blocked brain receptors for oxytocin, the increased sociability almost disappeared.
It could be that the dose of the receptor blocker was too low, or that other brain chemicals, such as dopamine, are also involved in triggering the sociable behaviour, McGregor says. The finding ties in with reports from people on ecstasy about how they feel, McGregor points out.
Rodent studies have shown a massive surge of oxytocin after orgasm in males. They suspect that the oxytocin release might be implicated not only in the pro-social effects of ecstasy but also in the reinforcing effects. There is much research to be done on how drugs of abuse affect oxytocin in the brain, says McGregor.
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Ecstasy really does unleash the love hormone