Prenatal Exposure to Synthetic Oxytocin: Risk to Neurodevelopment?

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Publication Date: 
October 2012

The neurodevelopmental risks of prenatal exposure to synthetic Oxytocin (OXT) during childbirth are relatively unexplored; however, it seems plausible that lifelong consequences could occur. This article expounds upon a pilot study (Kurth & Haussmann, 2011) that posited an association between prenatal OXT exposure and childhood onset of ADHD, suggesting neurodevelopmental disorders may be a consequence of this exposure. Study results, conclusions, and speculative impressions are discussed1.

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

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Related Content:: 
Publication Date: 
December 2010
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.
References: 

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Jankowski, M., Wang, D., Hajjar, F., Mukaddam-Daher, S., McCann, S.M., & Gutkowska, J. (2000). Oxytocin and its receptors are synthesized in the rat vasculature. Processes from the National Academy of Sciences USA, 97(11), 6207-6211.

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Johnson, M. (2009). Use and misuse of oxytocin during delivery. Digital comprehensive summaries of dissertations from the faculty of medicine Uppsala Universitet, 443, ISSN 1651-6206.

Kennell, J.H., McGrath, S, (2001). What babies teach us: the essential link between baby's behavior and mother's biology. Birth, 28(1): 20-21.

Kendrick, K,M. (2000). Oxytocin, motherhood and bonding. Experimental Physiology, 85(Spec), 111S-124S.

Kendrick, K.M., Keverne, E.B., & Baldwin, B.A. (1987). Intracerebroventricular oxytocin stimulates maternal behaviour in the sheep. Neuroendocrinology, 46(1), 56-61.

Kistner, A. (1995). Mercury poisoning by amalgam: Diagnosis and therapy, ZWR, 104(5), 412-417.

Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs, M., Zak, P.J., Fischbacher, U., & Fehr, E. (2005). Oxytocin increases Trust in Humans. Nature, 435, 673-676.

Kovacs, G.L., Sarnyai, Z., & Szabo, G. (1998). Oxytocin and addiction: a review. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 23, 945-962.

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Modahl, C., Green, L., Fein, D., Morris, M., Waterhouse, L., Feinstein, C., & Levin, H. (1998). Plasma oxytocin levels in autistic children. Biological Psychiatry, 43(4), 270-277.

Mueller-Heubach, E., Morris, M., & Rose, J.C. (1995). Fetal oxytocin and its extended forms at term with and without labor. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 173(2): 375-80; discussion 380-1.

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Phaneuf, S., Asboth, G., Carrasco, M.P., Europe-Firmer, G., Saji, E., Kimura, T., Harris, A, & Lopez-Bernal, A. (1997). The desensitization of oxytocin receptors in human myometrial cells is accompanied by down-regulation of oxytocin receptor messenger RNA. Journal of Endocrinology, 154(1), 7-18.

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Book Reviews 23,3

Publication Date: 
03/2009

ABSTRACT: This article offers a historical account of the changes in birth that the author reflects on after decades as a practicing obstetrician. In preliterate and pre-agricultural societies, women used to isolate themselves to give birth. It seems that at that phase of the history of humanity the only person who could be around was the mother of the parturient, an ant, or another experienced mother. Then, for thousands of years, childbirth has been more and more socialized and culturally controlled. During this long period the birth environment remained mostly feminine.

The Masculinisation of the Birth Environment

$10.00
Price: $10.00
Publication Date: 
March 2009

This article offers a historical account of the changes in birth that the author reflects on after decades as a practicing obstetrician. In preliterate and pre-agricultural societies, women used to isolate themselves to give birth. It seems that at that phase of the history of humanity the only person who could be around was the mother of the parturient, an ant, or another experienced mother. Then, for thousands of years, childbirth has been more and more socialized and culturally controlled. During this long period the birth environment remained mostly feminine.

References: 

Donnison, J. (1977). Midwives and medical men. London: Heinemann.

Odent, M. (2009). The functions of the orgasms: the highways to transcendence. London: Pinter & Martin.

Odent, M. (2004). Knitting midwives for drugless childbirth? Midwifery Today, 71, 21-22.

Von Siebold, E. C. J. (1839). Versuch einer Geschichte der Gerburtshulfe, Berlin.

Autism and Anorexia Nervosa: Two Facets of the Same Disease?

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Price: $10.00
Publication Date: 
December 2008

The discussion as to the primacy of genetic vs. environmental factors has shifted with the concept of ?gene expression? being shown as increasing our understanding of the origin of pathological conditions and personality traits. This means the acceptance of gene expression occurring during the primal period as well. The questions are now focused on the timing and the critical periods for genes-environment interaction. Autism and anorexia nervosa, two conditions that are to a great extent determined during the perinatal period.

References: 

Cnattingius, S., Hultman, C. M., Dahl, M., & Sparen. P. (1999). Very preterm birth, birth trauma and the risk of anorexia nervosa among girls. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56, 634-38.

Culbert, K. M., Breedlove, S. M., Burt, S. A., & Klump, K. L. (2008). Prenatal hormone exposure and risk for eating disorders: a comparison of opposite-sex and same-sex twins. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65(31, 329-36.

Dales, L., Hammer. S. J., & Smith, N. J. (2001). Time trends in autism and in MMR immunization coverage in California. JAMA, 285(9), 1183-5.

Demitrack, M. A., Lesern, M. D., Listwak, S. J., Brandt, H. ?., Jimerson, D. G, & Gold, P. W. (1990). CSF oxytocin in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: clinical and pathophysiologic considerations. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147(7), 882-6.

Devlin, B., Bacanu, S. A., Klump, K. L., Buiik, C. M., Fichter, M. M., Halmi, K. A., et al. (2002). Linkage analysis of anorexia nervosa incorporating behavioral covariates. Human Molecular Genetics, 11(6), 689-96.

Favaro, A., Tenconi, E., & Santonastaso, P. (2006). Perinatal factors and the risk of developing anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Archives of General Psychiatry, 63(1), 82-8.

Glasson, E. J., Bower, C1 Petterson, B., de Klerk, N., Chaney, G., & Hallmayer, J. F. (2004). Perinatal factors and the development of autism: A population study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 61, 618-27.

Green, L., Fein, D., Modani, C1 Feinstein, C, Waterhouse, L. & Morris, M. (2001 ). Oxytocin and autistic disorder: alterations in peptides forms. Biological Psychiatry, 50(8), 609-13.

Hambrook, D., Tchanturia, K., Schmidt, U, Russell, T., & Treasure, J. (2008). Empathy, systemizing, and autistic traits in anorexia nervosa: A pilot study. British Journal of Clinical Psychology. 47(3), 335-9. Epub 2008 Jan 21.

Hultman, C, Sparen, P., & Cnattingius, S. (2002). Perinatal risk factors for infantile autism. Epidemiology, 13, 417-23.

Hviid, A., Stellfeld, M., Wohlfahrt, J., & Melbye, M. (2003). Association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and autism. JAMA, 290(13), 1763-6.

Kaye, J. A., Melero-Montes, M., & Jick, H. (2001). Mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine and the incidence of autism recorded by general practitioners: a time trend analysis. British Medical Journal, 322, 460-3.

Madsen, K. M., Hviid. A., Vestergaard, M., Schendel, D., Wohlfahrt, J.,Thorsen, P, Olsen, J., & Melbye, M. (2002). A population-based study of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism. New England Journal of Medicine, 347(19), 1474-5.

Modahl, C, Green, 1-., Fein, D., Morris, M., Waterhouse, L., Feinstein, C, & Levin, H. (1998). Plasma oxytocin levels in autistic children. Biological Psychiatry, 43(A), 270-7.

Southgate. L., Tchanturia, K., & Treasure, J. (2008). Information processing bias in anorexia nervosa. Psychiatry Research, 160(2), 221-7.

Stein, D.. Weizman, A., Ring, A., & Barak, Y. (2006). Obstetric complications in individuals diagnosed with autism and in healthy controls. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 47(1), 69-75.

Taylor, B., Miller, E., Farrington, C. P., Petropoulos, M. C1 Favot-Mayaud, I., Li, J. & Wa'ight, P. A. (1999). Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association. Lancet, 353, 2026-9.

Wentz, E., Lacey, J. H., Waller, G., Rastam, M., Turk, J., & Gillberg, C. (2005). Childhood onset neuropsychiatrie disorders in adult eating disorder patients. A pilot study. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 14(8), 431-7.

Investigation by Questionnaire Regarding Fetal/Infant Memory in the Womb and/or at Birth

$10.00
Price: $10.00
Publication Date: 
December 2005

The purpose of this study is to clarify the possession rate of fetal/infant memory in the womb and/or at birth and to validate its characteristic. A total of 1620 answered questionnaires of the 3601 distributed were returned, giving an overall recovery rate of 45.0%. The possession rates of womb and birth memory were 33.0% and 20.7%, respectively. Parents, too, responded with regard to their own memory from birth, and 1.1% appeared possessing such memory.

References: 

Chamberlain, D. (1988). Babies remember birth. New York: Ballantine Books.

Chamberlain, D. (1998). The mind of your newborn baby. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Gulpinar, M.A., & Yegen B.C. (2004, Dec). The physiology of learning and memory: role of peptides and stress. Current Protein and Peptide Science, 5(6), 457-473.

Heinrichs, M., Meinlschmidt G., Wippich W., Ehlert U., & Hellhammer D.H. (2004, Oct). Selective amnesic effect of oxytocin on human memory. Physiology and Behavior 30; 83(1), 31-8.

Verny, T., with Weintraub, P. (2002). Pre-parenting nurturing your child from conception. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Verny, T., with Kelly, J., (1981). The secret life of the unborn child. New York: Dell Publishing.

Akira Ikegawa, Administrative Director of Ikegawa Clinic

Send correspondence to Akira Ikegawa, MD, PhD, Administrative Director of Ikegawa Clinic. Address: 2-5-13 Daidou Kanazawa-Ku Yokohama Japan 236-0035. Email: aikegawa@seaple.icc.ne.jp

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