Using oxytocin to treat body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)

About this study

Many people with BDD continue to experience symptoms of BDD even when prescribed current best practice medications. Intranasal oxytocin is an experimental intervention that could improve the symptoms of BDD.

This study will assess the safety and efficacy of using intranasal oxytocin to treat BDD in a clinical trial. This trial involves daily treatment with oxytocin (or placebo) for six weeks in addition to your treatment as usual.

Oxytocin is a brain peptide found in the brain. Oxytocin gets released from the brain in social situations. Recent evidence has suggested that oxytocin that is administered via nasal spray can help reduce levels of stress or anxiety as well as assist in social and emotional behaviours including the recognition of emotions in facial expressions. It is for this reason we think that it might be helpful in BDD.

Research TeamProfessor Susan Rossell, Professor David Castle, Dr Erica Neill, Dr Wei Lin Toh, Prof Denny Meyer, Dr Amy Malcolm, Dr Kiymet Bozaoglu, Dr Phil Sumner, Dr Toni Pikoos
InstitutionSwinburne University of Technology
Ethics Approval NumberHREC-5412
Funding SourceVictorian Medical Acceleration Fund
Project Start DateMarch 30, 2022
Project End DateMarch 30, 2025
ParticipantsYou might be eligible to take part if you meet the following criteria:
- Have a confirmed diagnosis of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
- Aged between 18-55 years.
- Fluent written and spoken English
What is InvolvedWe are seeking individuals with a BDD diagnosis to take part in a clinical trial. This trial involves daily treatment with oxytocin (or placebo) for six weeks in addition to your treatment as usual.

Participation will take place over a number of visits and includes the following:
• Online Surveys about mood and social relationships
• Discussing your mental health history
• Assessing thinking skills (e.g. memory & attention)
• Completing tests of emotion recognition
• Providing blood samples
• Having a brain scan in an MRI

We are currently recruiting for this study. You will be asked to attend Swinburne University in Hawthorn, Melbourne for participation. Those taking part will be reimbursed up to $300 for their time.

If you are interested, please contact us by emailing Dr Toni Pikoos at:
LocationMelbourne, Victoria
Contact Details

Dr Toni Pikoos,

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