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Opioid addiction has devastating health and socio-economic consequences, and current pharmacotherapy is limited and often accompanied by side effects, thus novel treatment is warranted. Traditionally, the neurohypophyseal peptide oxytocin (OT) is known fo

Posted on May 23, 2020 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Oxytocin and opioid addiction revisited: old

drug, new applications

Correspondence Alexis Bailey, Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education, St George’s University of London, London SW17 0RE, UK.


Received 11 December 2016; Revised 1 February 2017; Accepted 13 February 2017

Panos Zanos1,2, Polymnia Georgiou1,2, Carol Weber1

, Fiona Robinson4

, Christos Kouimtsidis4


Ramin Niforooshan4 and Alexis Bailey1,3


School of Biosciences and Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK, 2

Department of Psychiatry,

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA, 3

Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education, St George’s University of London,

London, UK, and 4

Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Chertsey, Surrey, UK

Opioid addiction has devastating health and socio-economic consequences, and current pharmacotherapy is limited and often

accompanied by side effects, thus novel treatment is warranted. Traditionally, the neurohypophyseal peptide oxytocin (OT) is

known for its effects on mediating reward, social affiliation and bonding, stress and learning and memory. There is now strong

evidence that OT is a possible candidate for the treatment of drug addiction and depression-addiction co-morbidities. This review

summarizes and critically discusses the preclinical evidence surrounding the consequences of pharmacological manipulation of

the oxytocinergic system on opioid addiction-related processes, as well as the effects of opioids on the OT system at different

stages of the addiction cycle. The mechanisms underlying the effects of OT on opioid addiction, including OT’ interaction with

the monoaminergic, glutamatergic, opioidergic systems and its effect on the amygdala, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis

and on memory consolidation of traumatic memories, are also reviewed. We also review clinical evidence on the effects of

intranasal OT administration on opioid-dependent individuals and discuss the therapeutic potential along with the limitations

that accompany OT-based pharmacotherapies. Review of these studies clearly indicates that the OT system is profoundly affected

by opioid use and abstinence and points towards the OT system as an important target for developing pharmacotherapies for the

treatment of opioid addiction and co-existing affective disorders, thereby preventing relapse. Therefore, there is a clear need for

clinical studies assessing the efficacy of OT-based pharmacotherapies in opioid addiction.


This article is part of a themed section on Emerging Areas of Opioid Pharmacology. To view the other articles in this section


The Love Cure for Addiction? Oxytocin Research Review

Posted on May 23, 2020 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The Love Cure for Addiction? Oxytocin Research Review

A global research and review conducted into a deeper understanding of the dimensions and function of the Oxytocin elicited a groundbreaking theory.


Also known as the “love hormone” or the “bonding drug,” Oxytocin is now believed to be closely-related to addictive behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse.


Researchers claim that poor development of Oxytocin in our bodies during the period of early childhood can possibly lead to such addictive behaviors. .....


Posted on May 23, 2020 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)




Daniel R. Ames and Lara K. Kammrath

ABSTRACT: In this paper, we examine the relationship between people’s actual

interpersonal sensitivity (such as their ability to identify deception and to infer

intentions and emotions) and their perceptions of their own sensitivity. Like prior

scholars, we find the connection is weak or non-existent and that most people

overestimate their social judgment and mind-reading skills. Unlike previous work,

however, we show new evidence about who misunderstands their sensitivity and

why. We find that those who perform the worst in social judgment and mind-

reading radically overestimate their relative competence. We also find origins of

these self-estimates in general narcissistic tendencies toward self-aggrandizement.

We discuss evidence from two studies, one involving the Interpersonal Perception

Task (the IPT-15) and another focusing on inferences about partners after a face-

to-face negotiation exercise. In both cases, actual performance did not predict

self-estimated performance but narcissism did.

KEY WORDS: empathic accuracy; interpersonal sensitivity; metacognition; mind-

reading; narcissism.

Understanding what others think, want, and feel is essential to inter-

personal sensitivity and, by extension, to social life. When people fail to

read others’ minds, they form incorrect impressions, take ineffective or

inappropriate actions, and generally fail to coordinate their behavior with

the attitudes and behavior of those around them. But do people know

when they misread minds or misjudge others? Mounting evidence sug-

gests that people are often poor at estimating their own competence in

domains ranging from logical reasoning to sense of humor (e.g., Dunning,

Johnson, Ehrlinger, & Kruger, 2003). This effect apparently extends to

Daniel R. Ames is affiliated with Department of Management, Columbia Business


Lara K. Kammrath is affiliated with Department of Psychology, Columbia University.

The authors thank Rick Larrick, Del Paulhus, and Paul Rose for helpful comments about

this research and the manuscript.

Address Correspondence to Daniel Ames, Columbia Business School, 3022 Broadway

Avenue, New York, NY 10027; e-mail:

Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 28(3), Fall 2004 ª 2004 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.


Open Narcissism, Covered Narcissism and Personality Disorders as Predictive Factors of Treatment Response in an Out-Patient Drug Addiction Unit

Posted on May 23, 2020 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Results: Hypersensitive (covert) narcissism and borderline and passive-aggressive personality disorders were risk factors for relapse into drug use, while open narcissism was a protective factor. Self-esteem did not show predictive validity.


Conclusions: Personality disorders characterized by impulsivity-instability and passivity-resentfulness show higher risk of relapse into drug abuse. Personality traits characterized by high sensitivity to humiliation increase the risk of relapse, whereas pride and self-confidence are protective factors. .....

Is He or She an Addict First? Or a Narcissist First?

Posted on May 23, 2020 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

When someone you love is addicted, your first impulse may be to offer all the support and empathy you can. But is this always the right thing to do? .....

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Narcissism

Posted on May 23, 2020 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The Cognitive Neuroscience of Narcissism

George FR1,2* and Short D1,3


1Center for Cognitive & Behavioral Wellness, Denver, CO, USA


2Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA


3Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Phoenix, AZ USA


*Corresponding Author:

Frank R. George

Center For Cognitive & Behavioral Wellness

Denver, CO, USA


Received date: February 09, 2018; Accepted date: February 20, 2018; Published date: February 28, 2018


Citation: George FR, Short D (2018) The Cognitive Neuroscience of Narcissism. J Brain Behav Cogn Sci Vol 1:6


Copyright: © 2018 George FR, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Visit for more related articles at Journal of Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Sciences


Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder that involves a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of understanding of others' feelings. Sadism is an additional factor observed in the most severe type of NPD, malignant narcissism. At the psychological level NPD is usually diagnosed or studied using some type of self-report diagnostic instrument. While there is not a large body of research on the neuroscience of NPD, there are consistencies pointing to abnormalities in certain brain areas, especially the insular cortex, that are associated with features of NPD, especially lack of empathy. The origins of NPD remain unknown, however biological, psychological and social factors all play important roles in the etiology of this disorder. Further clinical and neuroscience studies of empathy disorders, especially NPD and malignant narcissism, are necessary in order to better understand the environmental factors that contribute to this disorder.



Narcissism; Narcissistic personality disorder; Cognitive neuroscience; Magnetic resonance imaging; Insular cortex



Understanding narcissism


The father of American psychology, William James, believed that, “Phenomena are best understood when placed within their series, studied in their germ and in their over-ripe decay” [1]. Accordingly, if we take the phenomena of self-interest and observe it in its most germinal form, we see a Darwinian instinct that has great survival value. Moving up the series, a more severe form of self-interest, known as selfishness, produces excessive or exclusive concern with oneself. The narcissistic need to maintain a relatively positive self-image underlies individuals’ needs for validation and affirmation as well as the motivation to overtly and covertly seek out validation and self-enhancement experiences from the social environment [2]. This need can produce selfish behaviours, such as cheating and lying, which undermine the efforts of organized society. However, selfishness is not considered pathological. Self-interest reaches its “over-ripe decay” at the point of a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), which depicts a pathological complex that is self-reinforcing and produces deleterious effects on the individual, close relationships, and possibly the broader social community. These significant functional impairments and related areas of maladjustment include: psychopathy, substance abuse, relational dysfunction, interpersonal conflict and sexual aggression, impulsivity, homicidal ideation, and parasuicidal/ suicidal behaviours. .......

New study identifies link between Intermittent Explosive Disorder and exposure to the common toxoplasma gondii parasite typically found in undercooked meat, cat feces

Posted on May 23, 2020 at 7:15 AM Comments comments (0)

People with rage disorder twice as likely to have latent toxoplasmosis parasite infection


March 23, 2016


University of Chicago Medical Center


Individuals with a psychiatric disorder involving recurrent bouts of extreme, impulsive anger -- road rage, for example -- are more than twice as likely to have been exposed to a common parasite than healthy individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis. In a study involving 358 adult subjects, researchers found that toxoplasmosis, a relatively harmless parasitic infection carried by an estimated 30 percent of all humans, is associated with intermittent explosive disorder and increased aggression.


Unhelpful Thinking Styles: Cognitive Distortions In CBT. - Bright Star Apothecary Harm Reduction Initiative Research

Posted on May 23, 2020 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Unhelpful Thinking Styles: Cognitive Distortions In CBT



Dr Matthew Whalley

Clinical Psychologist

Published 18 March 2019

An introduction to unhelpful thinking styles in CBT

Cognitive distortions or ‘unhelpful thinking styles’ are ways that our thoughts can become biased. As conscious beings we are always interpreting the world around us, trying to make sense of what is happening. Sometimes our brains take ‘short cuts’ and generate results that are not completely accurate. Different cognitive short cuts result in different kinds of bias or distortions in our thinking. Sometimes we might jump to the worst possible conclusion, at other times we might blame ourselves for things that are not our fault. Cognitive distortions happen automatically – we don’t mean to think inaccurately – but unless we learn to notice them they can have powerful yet invisible effects upon our moods and our lives. Cognitive distortions were first noted by Aaron Beck in his research with depressed patients in the 1960’s [1]. They formed a central part of his cognitive theory of depression [2] and, later, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).




A good example of a cognitive distortion is what Beck originally called ‘selective abstraction’ but which is often now referred to as a ‘mental filter’. It describes our tendency to focus on one detail, often taken out of context, and ignore other more important parts of an experience. For example, Jenny delivered some teaching at her workplace and got a round of applause at the end as well as numerous colleagues telling her how well she did and how helpful they had found her presentation. When she looked at the feedback forms afterwards she noticed one form with critical comments and a poor rating. She couldn’t stop thinking about this one piece of negative feedback and criticized herself saying “I’m such a rubbish teacher”. As a result she felt awful. Jenny’s thinking process was distorted because she had managed to ignore all of the positive feedback she had received and focus solely on the negative. She did this automatically and without realizing she had done it.


Cognitive distortions are common, entirely normal, and not our fault. None of us are 100% logical and rational like Mr Spock. But when unhelpful thinking styles are present in our lives to an excessive degree they are associated with poor mental health [3,4]. There is strong evidence that people with depression and anxiety think in characteristically biased and unhelpful ways [5]. Recognizing and then overcoming our unhelpful thinking styles is frequently an important part of CBT treatment for anxiety and depression.


How Beck identified cognitive distortions

Cognitive distortions in the context of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) were first described by Aaron Beck in his 1963 paper ‘Thinking and depression: 1. Idiosyncratic content and cognitive distortions’ [1]. Beck was a psychiatrist who had also trained in psychoanalysis. In the 1960’s he was conducting research into the treatment of depression. Part of Beck’s research in a psychiatric clinic involved conducting interviews with depressed patients whom he was seeing for psychotherapy. The interviews were conducted when the patients were moderately to severely depressed. The patients were encouraged to free associate (talk freely) and Beck’s policy was to intervene only minimally, taking notes as his patients spoke. Some patients also kept notes of their feelings and thoughts between sessions which Beck used as additional data.




When Beck examined what his patients had told him he noticed themes in the cognitive content of the depressed patients and noted that:


“A crucial characteristic of the cognitions with this content was that they represented varying degrees of distortion of reality. While some degree of inaccuracy and inconsistency would be expected in the cognitions of any individual, the distinguishing characteristic of the depressed patients was that they showed a systematic error; viz, a bias against themselves.”


Beck noted that distortions were particularly likely to be present when the situations (cues) are ambiguous. Using a computational metaphor Beck described what he was observing in his patients as ‘faulty information processing’:


“He [the depressed patient] tends to perceive his present, future, and the outside world (the cognitive triad) in a negative way and consequently shows a biased interpretation of his experiences, negative expectancies as to the probable success of anything he undertakes, and a massive amount of self-criticism”.


Beck’s cognitive distortions......

Sunlight offers surprise benefit: It energizes infection fighting T cells. - Bright Star Apothecary Harm Reduction Initiative Research

Posted on May 21, 2020 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Georgetown University Medical Center


Sunlight, through a mechanism separate than vitamin D production, energizes T cells that play a central role in human immunity, researchers have found. The findings suggest how the skin, the body’s largest organ, stays alert to the many microbes that can nest there.


The role of human photosynthesis in predictive, preventive and personalized medicine

Posted on May 21, 2020 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

With human genome mapping, the omics revolution and the empowering sequencing technologies developed at the turn of the century, the new goals in medicine are to switch from population medicine to individualized therapies, not only to cure diseases but also to prevent them [1]. Diseases are complex processes that are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Uncovering the molecular pathways through which genetic factors affect a phenotype is always difficult, but in the case of complex diseases this is further complicated since genetic factors in affected individuals might be different.


Biomolecules in a living organism rarely act individually. Instead they work together in a cooperative way to provide specific functions. A variety of intermolecular interactions have been described including protein-protein interactions, protein-glycan interaction, protein-DNA interactions and RNA interactions that are essential to these cooperative activities.


It is widely accepted that the cellular system is modular, and a functional module is an entity, composed of many types of interacting molecules, whose function is separable, within certain limits, from those of other modules. There is no unique way to mathematically define functional modules [2], because metabolic pathways are often incomplete.


Networks of molecular interactions are trying to explain complex biological processes [3]. However in the scientific literature, metabolic and signaling pathways are often viewed separately, even both are composed of interactions involving proteins, glycan, and other chemical entities. It is necessary to combine data from major available resources to judge the functionality, complexity, completeness and manipulability of any given network overall, but the full integration of relevant information from scientific literature is still ongoing, complex and formidable task.


The discovery of the intrinsic property of melanin to dissociate and re-form the water molecule, a fact previously unknown, may be a factor that significantly facilitates the integration of current knowledge in relation to the sequence following biomolecules in an organism alive.


So far no reaction could consider some intracellular as number 1 or very first of all, but have identified the process very similar to the first reaction of plants implies a breakthrough in this regard. In plants, the first reaction of photosynthesis is through dissociation of the water molecule by chlorophyll, a reaction that is irreversible, since the oxygen is expelled into the atmosphere. The reaction is outlined as follows:


2H2O → 2H2 + O2


And it is considered the world's most important reaction since it is the beginning of the food chain. Therefore, a plant without water will not hatch, since the free chemical energy that is released with the breakdown of the molecule of water is essential to boost consequential reactions finally reaches the fusion of CO2 and H2O into glucose, a process that unable to replicate in the laboratory. We could say that every last leaf of the tree stems depends on and is governed by photosynthesis.


Our discovery of the intrinsic property of the Melanin molecule to dissociate and re-form the water molecule breaks the paradigm, humans also have the amazing ability to transform the photon energy into chemical energy free [4], and the reaction is outlined in the following form:


2H2O ↔ 2H2 + O2 + 4e-


Melanin is thousands of times more efficient to dissociate the water molecule of chlorophyll, it suffices to note that chlorophyll does so irreversible and can only use purple and red light, visible both, for our side, melanin absorbs the entire electromagnetic spectrum, apart from splitting water, also has the amazing ability to re-shape it, which is a unique example in nature. And just as in the plants until the last leaf of the tree stems, depends on and is governed entirely by photosynthesis, in humans is the same.


That is why we think we can assign as number 1, the dissociation reaction of water molecule also in humans. And in doing so, the cloud of unknowns surrounding the self-sustaining chemical system we call life, so substantially modified. Well now it has a beginning, and the intrinsic property of melanin to dissociate the water molecule has the appropriate requirements for considering the ab initio life [5].


So the real source of energy of the eukaryotic cell is water, so the sacred role of glucose as an energy source now breaks into a thousand pieces. We ended up saying that if the energy source was glucose, diabetic patients would fly.


The human body with four billion years of evolution is far beyond our ability to abstraction, but in origin the body is relatively simple: everything comes, everything is soaked, and everything is governed by photosynthesis, both in plants and in us.


If we want to maintain health, the answer is also simple: just keep the balance equation.

Light based antimicrobial approaches are becoming a growing translational part of anti-infective treatments in the current age of resistance.

Posted on May 21, 2020 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)


The relentless rise of antibiotic resistance is considered one of the most serious problems facing mankind. This mini‐review will cover three cutting‐edge approaches that use light‐based techniques to kill antibiotic‐resistant microbial species, and treat localized infections. First, we will discuss antimicrobial photodynamic inactivation using rationally designed photosensitizes combined with visible light, with the added possibility of strong potentiation by inorganic salts such as potassium iodide. Second, the use of blue and violet light alone that activates endogenous photoactive porphyrins within the microbial cells. Third, it is used for “safe UVC” at wavelengths between 200 nm and 230 nm that can kill microbial cells without damaging host mammalian cells. We have gained evidence that all these approaches can kill multidrug resistant bacteria in vitro, and they do not induce themselves any resistance, and moreover can treat animal models of localized infections caused by resistant species that can be monitored by noninvasive bioluminescence imaging. Light‐based antimicrobial approaches are becoming a growing translational part of anti‐infective treatments in the current age of resistance.

Red Light Kills Bacteria via Photodynamic Action

Posted on May 21, 2020 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

PMID: 11075959


With the increase in the number of antibiotic resistant strains of microorganism, the search for alternative treatments of microbial infections becomes all the more important. We report a novel method for bacterial inactivation based on the optical excitation of the naturally occurring (endogenous) photosensitzing porphyrins by red light. In particular, the pathogenic Gram-positive porphyrin producing ATCC strains Propionibacterium acnes, Actinomyces odontolyticus and Porphyromonas gingivalis were investigated. Sensitive autofluorescence spectroscopy revealed that these bacteria naturally synthezise the fluorescent photosensitizer protoporphyrin IX. In addition, bacterial plaque samples of periodontitis patients were studied. Non-labeled fluorescent bacterial colonies were exposed to red light at 632.8 nm, 100 mW/cm2 light intensity and 360 J/cm2 energy density using a helium-neon laser. The survival rate after a single phototreatment with red light was found to be 0.58 +/- 0.09 in the case of Propionibacterium acnes, 0.30 +/- 0.04 in Actinomyces odontolyticus and 0.59 +/- 0.10 in Porphyrormonas gingivalis compared to non-exposed bacteria suspensions. No photoeffect was found for the bacterium Streptococcus mutans which exhibited no detectable porphyrin autofluorescence. Red-light exposed plaque samples of patients showed significant reduction of colony forming units by 50% as well as a pronounced photoeffect on the pigmented species Prevotella intermedia. Taken together, these results suggest the treatment with red light can be potentially employed as an therapeutic method to inactivate certain pathogenic strains of porphyrin producing bacteria without the use of external photosensitizers.