Oxytocin and Social Behavior Over the Lifespan
This study will investigate if intranasal oxytocin (a hormone naturally produced in the body) promotes motivation for, and engagement in, social activities in older adults.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
|Official Title:||Oxytocin and Social Behavior Over the Lifespan: Interventional Study|
- confirm increased social activities in treatment condition compared to control condition via self-report. [ Time Frame: 30 days ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Evidence of greater psychological health for treatment condition as compared to control condition. [ Time Frame: 30 days ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
|Study Start Date:||February 2010|
|Study Completion Date:||December 2011|
|Primary Completion Date:||December 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Drug: oxytocin (Pitocin)
40 IU OT intranasally (IN) once-daily for 10 consecutive days
Using a double-blind and placebo controlled design, this study seeks to determine if a short course of exogenous oxytocin (OT) will induce changes in social activities in residentially housed older adults (OAs) during a 10-day treatment period, and after it ends. Because OT is associated with peri-reproductive behaviors, OT release in OAs is expected to be attenuated relative to younger adults. If OT release is low in OAs as we hypothesize, augmenting OT may increase their desire for social interactions, increase the frequency of participation in social activities and augment the number of and quality of social ties, thereby providing protection against disease, early death, cognitive decline, and depression. Research in rodents suggests that social interactions themselves may change chronic OT levels (Carter & Keverne, 2002; Carter & Altemus, 1997), in a positive feedback loop. In order to demonstrate OT as the causal mechanism, we propose to infuse oxytocin and then track the desire for, quantity of, and quality of social activities.