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Gaps or links between hormonal therapy and schizophrenia? (Review)

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Schizophrenia is considered the most severe and debilitating psychiatric disorder. During the 80's, first reports on abnormalities of the schizophrenic brain which could be objectively observed on MRI, CT scans and other imagistic techniques were published. This showed that schizophrenia is a disorder that goes beyond the functional aspect of the symptomatology. The ties between psychiatry and endocrinology are easily observed, even empirically, by any mental health practitioner, and mirrored by endocrinology specialists. Disorders related to menstruation phase of the menstrual cycle have a code in DSMV, people expect women ‘to have mental disturbances’ during puberty, pregnancy, menopause and other periods of life known to cause a hormonal storm. Leaving aside those simple and common beliefs, any mental health specialist can observe the differences between men and women when it comes to psychopathology, and the differences between male and female patients when it comes to a severe disorder such as schizophrenia. Males present more severe symptoms; their evolution is worse and they tend to have more medicolegal issues. On the contrary, the current available treatments for schizophrenia tend to have some side effects easily observed by endocrinologists: from gynecomastia to breast asymmetry in women, hyperprolactinemia, weight gain and other metabolic disorders, the clinic shows us regularly what the science has already told us; that the impact of hormones on the developing brain, starting inĀ utero and going on through life may hold the key to finding better treatments for debilitating disorders such as schizophrenia. This minireview is focused on the role of estrogen in the evolution of schizophrenia and on reporting trials that showed how hormonal therapy (used mainly for breast cancer and osteoporosis) can improve the outcome of patients with schizophrenia.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Clinical Neurosciences, ‘Carol Davila’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 020021 Bucharest, Romania 2: Department of General Medicine, ‘Carol Davila’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 020021 Bucharest, Romania 3: Department of Psychiatry, ‘Prof. Dr. Alexandru Obregia’ Clinical Psychiatry Hospital, 041914 Bucharest, Romania

Publication date: October 1, 2020

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  • Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine aims to ensure the expedient publication, in both print and electronic format, of studies relating to biology, gene therapy, infectious disease, microbiology, molecular cardiology and molecular surgery. The journal welcomes studies pertaining to all aspects of molecular medicine, and studies relating to in vitro or in vivo experimental model systems relevant to the mechanisms of disease are also included.

    All materials submitted to this journal undergo the appropriate review via referees who are experts in this field. All materials submitted follow international guidelines with regard to approval of experiments on humans and animals.
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