Saturday, 16 May, 2009 Health & Fitness

Recovering Is More Efficient In Company

American scientists, by the means of numerous trials on rats, proved that a patient's entourage seriously influences their recovery after traumas.

The experiments showed that rats who were staying alone in empty cages were recovering worse than those who were surrounded by other rats or those who had material for building their nests. Besides, biologists were able to accelerate the process of recovery by administering the hormone oxytocin.

The group of 11 scientists (the majority of them being psychiatrists from the Central Hospital of Massachusetts and doctors from the Center of Combustions of Massachusetts) had studied the influence of different factors on the speed of healing of burns in rats. They observed that the recovery with the presence of neighbours in the same cage is related to the possibility of building nests and with the quantity of oxytocin in the organism. This hormone is described as the substance necessary for sexual behaviour and social interaction, and it wasn't chosen accidentally.

The researchers expected to see oxytocin (which is able to increase the level of trust in humans) to have an influence on the animals left alone by accelerating their recovery.

Scientists have separated the rats with burns on the back in some groups. Some were put in empty cages and left alone, and the burns of these animals were healed worst of all. The animals of the second group were also left alone, but they had special material for building nests in their cages. The third group of animals was left in empty cages, but was administered oxytocin, and, finally, the animals of the fourth group shared their cages with other rats.

Doctors discovered that the animals of the last group had recovered from their burns faster than the others. A smaller effect was obtained by giving rats the possibility of building nests (a rat's nest usually represents a cluster of soft material with a deepening in the middle), and one of the main discoveries was the confirmation of the scientists' hypothesis about the role of oxytocin. The rats who were administered this hormone were recovering slower than those who lived with other rats in their cages, but faster than those who were living in empty cages.

Magazine PLoS One writes that the similarity between oxytocin's effect and the effect of improvement of living conditions can be important for understanding the way the brain and the psychic state of the patient influence his recovery after complicated traumas.

Posted by summer_rain

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