Oxytocin and Cognitive Control in Adult ADHD


This is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of single-dose intranasal oxytocin (24 IU) in 18-55 year-old men with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Following a screening visit to determine eligibility, subjects will return for two main study visits. During the main study visits, study participants will receive either oxytocin (Syntocinon® nasal spray, Victoria Pharmacy, Zürich, Switzerland) or placebo (inactive ingredients of Syntocinon® nasal spray, Victoria Pharmacy), followed by assessments of cognitive control over attention and behavior. Twenty-four participants will be randomized 1:1 to one of two drug orders, i.e., oxytocin - placebo or placebo - oxytocin. In an additional neuroimaging substudy, a subset of participants will undergo task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) following oxytocin/placebo administration to investigate the effects of oxytocin on fMRI activation and functional connectivity within the cognitive control network.

Study Start Date

October, 01 2017

Estimated Completion Date

June 2019


  • Drug: Oxytocin nasal spray
  • Drug: Placebo nasal spray

Study ID

Massachusetts General Hospital -- 2017P000123



Trial ID


Study Type


Trial Phase

Early Phase 1

Enrollment Quota



Massachusetts General Hospital

Inclusion criteria:
  • Male
  • 18-55 years
  • Diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder Exclusion criteria:
  • History of cardiovascular disease (e.g., hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, valvular heart disease, coronary heart disease, or coronary artery spasms)
  • History of diabetes mellitus
  • Untreated thyroid disease
  • Hematocrit below the normal range
  • Tobacco use
  • Any other significant illness that the investigator determines could interfere with study participation or safety or put the subject at any unnecessary risk
  • Gender



    18 Years to 55 Years

    Accepts Healthy Volunteers


    Study Locations and Contact Information (1)

    Study Location Distance Name Phone Email
    Massachusetts General Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts 2.8 miles None None None

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