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Neonatal CSF oxytocin levels are associated with parent report of infant soothability and sociability.


Clark CL1, St John N, Pasca AM, Hyde SA, Hornbeak K, Abramova M, Feldman H, Parker KJ, Penn AA.
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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5485, United States.


Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2013 Jul;38(7):1208-12. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2012.10.017. Epub 2013 Mar 15.



Oxytocin (OT) has been linked to social behavior in rodents, non-human primates, and adult humans, but almost nothing is known about brain OT activity in human newborns or its impact on social development. To better understand the role of OT biology in human social functioning, a multi-disciplinary, longitudinal study was conducted. Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) OT levels from 18 human neonates were evaluated and examined in relationship to social-seeking behavior at term, at 3 months, and at 6 months of age. Higher neonatal CSF OT levels were consistently associated with solicitation of parental soothing and interest in social engagement with others. This is the first study to link CSF OT levels to normative human social functioning. Research is now required to test whether early OT levels serve as a biomarker for subsequent social abnormalities.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


23507187 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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