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J Psychopharmacol. 2004 Sep;18(3):366-74.

The relationship of sex hormones and cortisol with cognitive functioning in Schizophrenia.

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Centre for Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry and Department of Psychology, City University, London, UK.


Gonadal as well as stress hormones have recently been implicated in pathophysiology and sex differences in onset, prognosis and treatment of schizophrenia. The present study investigated the effects of serum levels of oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol on neuropsychological functioning and psychopathology in a group of 37 patients (17 women, 20 men) with schizophrenia. Neuropsychological measures included tests of attention, verbal abilities, language, memory, executive functioning, motor and speed of information processing. The results showed that oestrogen and age was associated with low positive symptom scores, and within gender, cortisol predicted poor performance on the information processing domain in men. These findings demonstrate that cortisol, in addition to the commonly reported effects of oestrogen, influences neuropsychological functioning in schizophrenia with differential effects on specific domains of cognitive functioning and underscore the need for further investigation of the modulating role of hormones on neuropsychological functioning in schizophrenia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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