Estrogen Hormone Eases Schizophrenia Symptoms
Researchers have found that estrogen hormone significantly improves schizophrenia symptoms when taken along with general drugs.
Researchers from Monash University in Melbourne examined 102 women with schizophrenia. They were divided into two groups with 56 women given 100 mg of estradiol - a form of estrogen - and 46 women given a placebo. The hormone was given via a skin patch, which was applied for 28 days. Women were also taking their standard drugs, such as Eli Lilly's Zyprexa.
At the end of the study women who took estrogen hormone, reported significant improvement in distorted thinking and experienced fewer delusions and hallucinations.
About a century ago it was already clear that there is a link between hormone and schizophrenia treatment, but this is the first of its kind study to examine the link. Researchers suggest that estrogen improves blood flow to brain and probably this is why it improves mental conditions.
Researchers urge the need of more larger studies to understand how hormone can be used in schizophrenia treatment and to make sure it will not lead to adverse side effects.
A spokesperson for mental health charity Rethink said: "We welcome any new research that could lead to the development of effective treatments for psychosis - especially if those treatments bring fewer of the horrible side-effects that are associated with some medications for schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a mental condition affecting 1.1% of all adults. It is more common in men than women, and scientists suggest that maybe it's because women have much more estrogen hormones than men do, because the hormone is very important for menstrual cycle.