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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Dec;1032:291-4.

Negative correlation between negative symptoms of schizophrenia and testosterone levels.

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Department of Endocrinology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


We conducted a pilot study in 10 adult male schizophrenics, 5 with predominantly positive symptoms (group I) and 5 with predominantly negative symptoms (group II), and 10 healthy matched controls. No significant differences in serum levels of testosterone (T), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), estradiol, and cortisol were found between patients as a whole and controls, using radioimmunoassay. However, serum T and DHEAS levels were lower (P <0.05) in group II patients than in group I. Body hair and aggression scores also were lower (P <0.05) in group II. In a much larger sample, Shirayama and colleagues also showed that "moderate negative symptoms, but not low negative symptoms" correlated negatively with T (P <0.05), but positively with ACTH (P <0.05) and cortisol (P <0.01) levels in plasma. Neuroactive steroids, such as DHEAS, and other sex hormones, including their synthetic derivatives, may have an adjunctive role in reversing or slowing the progression of negative symptoms. Indeed, "DHEA augmentation" improved "negative (P <0.01), depressive (P <0.05), and anxiety (P <0.01) symptoms."

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