Tablet of love: neuro drugs against destructive attachments - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 08 February 2015 13:50

Love is not always as good as they write about it in novels. It can not only cause euphoria and a feeling of intimacy, but also the pain of loss, trauma and even provoke violence. Yet love with all its sharp turns, ups and downs - just a hormonal process control which can be partly right now. A team of researchers from Oxford University published a scientific article about the drugs that help cure passion, sympathy and affection. T & P tell us the most important thing about technology and ethics chemical interruption of love.
The desire to get rid of love seems to exist just as much as she herself: Ovid Naso, Titus Lucretius Carus, William Shakespeare, and many other authors can be found on line that this feeling is like a disease. Destructive, deeply traumatic passion, jealousy, miSunderstanding, loneliness and grief - all this can be the fruit of love, and all that we have met many times in literature, philosophy, drama, and in their own lives. We know that the problem is not only love unrequited: the desire to remain close to the person prone to domestic violence, incestuous love, passion led worship and sexual interest in minors also cause a lot of trouble, even if the person is able to resist the action.

Attempts to "do something" with unnecessary passions have always been made: at various times unsuccessfully tried to fall in love heal bloodletting, sports exercises, tough diet and prayer. And these means, unfortunately, does not always help. Then love was seen as something that is firmly rooted in the body - but today we know that this is only partly true.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: love through the eyes of the brain

From the point of view of neuroscience love is a product of the brain - a complex neurobiological phenomenon that emerged during evolution. It is based on the mechanics of trust, pleasure and reward, and is closely connected with the work of the cerebral cortex and the limbic system to the activity which is located deep in the skull and is one of the most ancient elements of the brain responsible for basic survival responses: "Run" "mate", "eat" and so on.

Love can bring people together and keep them close to the birth and rearing, since prehistoric times is the basis of survival of the species. According to neuroscientist, a specialist in the field of anthropology Helen Fisher and her research team from Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA), it relies on three neurophysiological subsystem that trigger sexual desire, sympathy and affection. Sexual attraction, which takes the stage first, pushing us to meet potential partners, sympathy lets you choose among them suitable and affection helps to create a long-term relationship and gives us the strength to cooperate with each other as long as there is no full of parental duty.

The work of each of the three sub-systems based on the effects of hormones and neurotransmitters that are produced in our body. For example, sexual desire is associated with estrogen and testosterone - sex hormones, which are both in men and in women. The ability to assess someone's attractiveness is associated with pleasure and stress hormones: dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline - that allow us to focus on the object of attraction, thinking back to it again and again, and to feel a sense of excitement in his presence. As for attachments, here starring act neuromodulators oxytocin and vasopressin. They inspire us with a sense of calm and confidence and naturally push us to the behavior of potentially favorable for the relationship.

The problem is that all these subsystems are operated simultaneously, so that we can wish for a potential partner, take another attractive and maintain an ongoing relationship with a third. At the same time autonomous action "component of love" can not be called. For example, testosterone stimulates the production of vasopressin, which has a positive effect on the formation of attachment and oxytocin affects the activity of dopaminergic pathways linking attachment to appeal - so that the most favorite is the one who is closest.

Against lust: neyropreparaty and antiandrogens

Scientists believe that in the future in the arsenal of physicians, psychotherapists and psychiatrists will "neyropreparaty" - high-performance synthetic modulators of brain activity - aimed at specific receptors in certain reflex arcs and can help a person cope with unwanted passion. Today, these drugs do not - but many drugs are intended for entirely different purposes, inhibit sexual desire as a side effect. For example, antidepressant - in particular the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors - inhibit the production of sex hormones. Libido also reduce pain relievers with butalbitalom, opiates and other drugs.

In the jurisprudence of the United States, Russia, Britain and other countries, as a punishment for sexual crimes against minors applied radical procedure of chemical castration in which anti-androgens block the androgen receptor cells, preventing the action of testosterone, causing sexual desire disappears. Such drugs have side effects that may persist for life: increased fragility of bones, obesity and others.

From the point of view of human rights is now recognized chemical castration extremely controversial procedure. In history there are examples of when it becomes an instrument of homophobia or used improperly. For example, the famous British mathematician, logician, cryptographer Alan Turing, crack the code "Enigma" of the Third Reich, in 1952 agreed to a voluntary chemical castration to avoid prison for his homosexuality. While in the UK it is punishable by law and considered a mental disorder. As punishment "guilty" could choose chemical suppression of libido or prison. Turing chose the former. Two years later, he died of cyanide poisoning, which many researchers consider suicide.

Against sympathy: a cure for OCD

In 1999, a team led by neuroscientist Donatella Marazziti of the University of Pisa, found that in the first months of love resembles obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In both cases, the research participants were worried because the smallest detail, and suffered from obsessive thoughts; In addition, doctors have found them changes in transport proteins transporting serotonin. The level of this protein and serotonin in humans was all the same - but not comply with regulations. "This suggests that love is literally brings us to a state that can not be called normal," - noted experts. When 12-18 months they are again tested lovers participants in the experiment, it was found that serotonin levels have returned to normal values - and obsession idealization partner (capacity for the generation of abstract and concrete mental maps of the lack of incentives) disappeared.

All this means that the cure for OCD, roughly speaking, and help from excessive sympathy to the object of love. Patients with obsessions and compulsions respond well to treatment, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which, as we know, and suppresses libido. Also, these antidepressants affect the release of dopamine, causing a decrease in euphoric mood, which help form an attachment. Do selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, there is another side effect that may affect the relationship: they reduce the ability to care for others' feelings. So taking this type of antidepressants reduces the risk of falling in love. For patients with depression is probably a good thing, because love at all pleasant feeling - it's still a lot of stress.

Against attachment: dopamine antagonists

Responsible for attachment and reduces stress hormones, vasopressin, oxytocin and dopamine produced in humans and other mammals monogamous while touching, hugging, kissing, stroking, sex, orgasm and breastfeeding. They largely held together by pairs, as well as mothers and their offspring. In this case, oxytocin and vasopressin are helping to establish a system of signals required for a successful search for your partner or child among the other creatures of the same species and sex (and as a result you can "learn to walk cute"), and dopamine is involved in the formation of rewards emotions: joy , tenderness, enthusiasm, and others.

Researchers found that direct injection of oxytocin in the brain of female gray voles and vasopressin in the brain of males of the same species makes it easier for the animals the process of creating connections even at times when they were not ready to mate. If rodents received dopamine or oxytocin antagonists - drugs that block the relevant receptors - they are deprived of their propensity for monogamy and go to the short-lived polygamous relations.

Of course, one can argue that the mechanism of formation of affection like a man is arranged exactly the same as that of gray voles, but certain similarities between us. In addition, numerous studies in recent years, neuroscientists and anthropologists have found out some interesting facts about love: in particular, the fact that from the point of view of the painting production of dopamine, it resembles cocaine addiction. To treat it today used dopamine antagonists that "help" and of romantic attachment.

Ethical failure: an individual response

All this, of course, does not mean that love is a drug addiction, though, from the point of view of the hormonal system of rewards in our brain, it works just as addictive. Because love exists on the planet much longer than the drugs that are simply using mechanisms designed entirely for other purposes: the maintenance of interpersonal relationships, the successful education of offspring (own or adopted) and, ultimately, evolution as a species, and personality. And yet, love, to put it mildly, does not always lead to the last and instead of personal growth and success of the parent terminates painful rupture, psychological or physical trauma, violence and murder. Can we "treat" severe case of chemical or attempt to ward off unwanted emotions lead us into the world of dystopia? The unequivocal answer to this question does not seem to exist, and in each case, the decision should be individualized. Yet if the inevitable violence or death can be prevented, and hopeless pain of loss - downplay, very easy to understand those who are willing to go for it.



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