Optimism about oxytocin

University of California, Los Angeles researchers have evidence of a link between psychological disposition and a receptor for the neuroactive hormone oxytocin.1 A new company-Pastorus Pharma LLC-thinks the findings provide additional proof of concept for targeting the oxytocin receptor in behavioral and psychiatric indications.

A team led by Shelley Taylor, professor of psychology at UCLA, was looking for genetic factors that underlie variation in three psychological traits that influence an individual's ability to cope with stress: optimism, self-esteem and sense of mastery.

"We know that these factors affect response to stressful life events, which have a major role in the development of psychiatric disorders, including major depression, anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder,"

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