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Physiological correlates of endogenous oxytocin concentrations

Oxytocin’s psychological functions make this neuropeptide an interesting target for biomarker research on mental disorders. Besides measuring the psychological effects of intranasal oxytocin administration, endogenous oxytocin concentrations are a frequently used tool to assess possible neuroendocrine dysregulations related to mental disorders. However, endogenous concentrations do not directly reflect central availability of this peptide. Moreover, they are influenced by various physiological and psychological factors, which we investigated in two meta-analyses.

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Engel S., Schumacher S., Niemeyer H., Küster A., Burchert S., Rau H., Willmund G.-D. & Knaevelsrud C. (2020). Beeinflusst Oxytocin den psychotherapeutischen Prozess? Eine explorative Untersuchung im Kontext einer internetbasierten kognitiv-verhaltenstherapeutischen Behandlung für die posttraumatische Belastungsstörung. Verhaltenstherapie. doi: 10.1159/000505303

Engel, S.*, Klusmann, H.*, Ditzen, B., Knaevelsrud, C., & Schumacher, S. (2019). Menstrual cycle-related fluctuations in oxytocin concentrations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 52, 144-155.

Engel, S., Laufer, S., Miller, R., Niemeyer, H. Knaevelsrud, C. & Schumacher, S. (2019). Demographic, sampling- and assay-related confounders of endogenous oxytocin concentrations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology., 54, 100775.