The effect of oxytocin and an enriched environment on anxiety-like behaviour and corticosterone levels after febrile seizures and pre-natal stress

From an article published in May 2022 in IBRO Neuroscience Reports

Maikoo S, Wilkins A, Qulu L. The effect of oxytocin and an enriched environment on anxiety-like behaviour and corticosterone levels in a prenatally stressed febrile seizure rat model. IBRO Neurosci Rep. 2022 May 17;13:47-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ibneur.2022.05.001. PMID: 36590100; PMCID: PMC9795298.

Febrile seizures occur in infants and young children, often following a fever and a systemic infection. Febrile seizures and pre-natal stress lead to an increase in anxiety and stress hormones. This study looked at the possible benefit of administering oxytocin and exposing to an enriched environment to improve both these symptoms.

The scientists found that both Environmental enrichment and administering oxytocin were significantly effective in attenuating the increased basal corticosterone levels and anxiety-like behaviour, although direct administration of oxytocin showed higher significance in reducing stress hormones, when compared to the enriched environment.

In other studies, foot massage was found to greatly increase oxytocin levels. It would be interesting to see a similar study comparing the benefits of direct administration of oxytocin and foot massage.

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