In 10 seconds? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or childhood sexual abuse can impact our ability to focus our attention, for example on potential danger. But treatment with intranasal oxytocin shows promise of reducing this effect, researchers have found.

Why is it an important topic? It’s not just war vets who can develop PTSD but civilians, who have experienced stressful and frightening or prolonged distress as well. Think about accidents, violent crime, including rape, abuse or the death of a loved one. According to 2001-2003 data from the US National Institute of Mental Health 3.6% of the adult US population experienced PTSD with women almost 3 times more susceptible to the condition as men (5.2 vs 1.8%). PTSD-caused impairment spread almost evenly in the period, with 36.6% experiencing severe, 33.1% moderate and 30.2% mild impairment. Studies suggest that about 20-30% of trauma victims develop PTSD.

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