Many early studies of oxytocin for autism were limited because they assessed only a single dose and had relatively few participants, and later experiments with more doses failed to show the same promise. In 2010, clinical psychologist Adam Guastella at the University of Sydney in Australia studied 16 male adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, and found that one dose of oxytocin could improve their ability to gauge the emotions of others by looking at their eyes13. But when he tried giving twice-daily doses of the hormone for two months, he found no significant improvements in social interaction or social cognition14. “Studies to this point have really shown limited benefit of oxytocin in improving psychiatric illnesses over time,” he says. Guastella says that getting to the bottom of oxytocin's complex neurological effects will take time. “If we want a simple answer, we're not going to get it.”
Thymosin beta 4, developed by RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals as a pharmaceutical for the healing of wounds, is a synthetic version of the natural peptide. As Dr. Allan Goldstein emphasizes, “Tb4 represents a new class of wound healing compounds. It is not a growth factor or cytokine, but rather exhibits a number of physiological properties which include the ability to sequester and regulate actin, its potent chemotactic properties. . . and its capability to downregulate a number of inflammatory cytokines that are present in chronic wounds.” When a wound heals there are many growth factors produced in the area so that additional factors, such as those currently on the market for wound healing, may help but are not necessarily lacking. Tb4 treatment, however, adds a new dimension to wound repair by providing cells with actin as needed, for cell migration, replication and differentiation.
Tb4 has other effects that are needed in healing and repair of damaged tissue. It is a chemo-attractant for cells, stimulates new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), downregulates cytokines and reduces inflammation, thus protecting newly formed tissue from damaging inflammatory events. Tb4 has been shown to reduce free radical levels (with similar efficiency as superoxide dismutase), decrease lipid peroxidation, inhibit interleukin 1 and other cytokines, and decrease inflammatory thromboxane (TxB2) and prostaglandin (PGF2 alpha).
Bartz found that when she averaged out the volunteers’ results, the sniffs of oxytocin hadn’t seemed to colour their memories of their mothers. But things changed when she looked at them individually. Those who felt more anxious about their relationships took a dimmer view of their mother’s parenting styles when they sniffed oxytocin, compared to the placebo. Those who were more secure in their relationships reacted in the opposite way – they remembered mum as being closer and more caring when they took the oxytocin.
How does MT-1 compare to MT-2? In terms of darkening the pigmentation of skin to enhance and individuals tan, both types have been proven to work in a number of clinical trials. However, the side effects using MT-2 are more common, but offsetting this is the fact that the darkening effect using MT-2 can be seen faster. It's important to note that the dosages for Melanotan-1and Melanotan-2 are different. For example, a sometimes recommended beginning dose of MT1 is 1mg, while a beginning dose of MT2 is often only 0.25mg.
Serotonin influences sleep and sleep-wake cycles in many ways, and scientists continue to make discoveries about how this important neurochemical affects our sleeping and waking lives. One important way serotonin affects sleep and bio time is through its relationship with the “sleep hormone” melatonin. Melatonin is made from serotonin in the presence of darkness. (Remember, melatonin production in the body is triggered by darkness and suppressed by exposure to natural and artificial light.) Healthy serotonin levels are essential for maintaining healthy melatonin levels—and both serotonin and melatonin are critical to sleep and a well-functioning bio clock. With its ability to increase serotonin, 5-HTP supports a neurochemical process that can enable high-quality sleep and keep the body’s bio clock in sync.
When combined with antidepressants of the MAOI or SSRI class, very high parenteral doses of 5-HTP can cause acute serotonin syndrome in rats. It is unclear if such findings have clinical relevance, as most drugs will cause serious adverse events or death in rodents at very high doses. In humans 5-HTP has never been clinically associated with serotonin syndrome, although 5-HTP can precipitate mania when added to an MAOI.