4 years ago

Gender differences in susceptibility to schizophrenia: Potential implication of neurosteroids

Past research has indicated gender differences in the clinical characteristics and course of schizophrenia. In this study, we investigated whether gender differences in the manifestation of schizophrenia are correlated with neurosteroids, including dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), and pregnenolone. We further explored the potential relationship between the aforementioned neurosteroids and psychopathology. We recruited 65 schizophrenic patients (36 males and 29 females) and 103 healthy control subjects (47 males and 56 females) and obtained blood samples from the subjects in the morning while in a fasting state to determine the serum levels of DHEA, DHEA-S, and pregnenolone. The psychopathology and mood symptoms of patients with schizophrenia were evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, respectively. Compared to the male control subjects, male patients with schizophrenia had significantly lower serum levels of DHEA and pregnenolone. In males with schizophrenia, the serum levels of DHEA and DHEA-S were associated with the age of onset and the duration of illness, while pregnenolone levels were associated with general symptoms of the PANSS. However, none of the neurosteroid levels were different between the female patients with schizophrenia and the female controls, and no significant correlation between neurosteroid levels and psychopathology evaluations was found among the schizophrenic females. Neurosteroids, including DHEA, DHEA-S, and pregnenolone, are involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia in male patients, but not in female ones. Therefore, our findings suggest that neurosteroids may be associated with gender differences in susceptibility to schizophrenia.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0306453017304134

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.