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Int J Endocrinol. 2018 Oct 8;2018:9516592. doi: 10.1155/2018/9516592. eCollection 2018.

Translational Significance of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators in Psychiatric Disorders.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zawia, P.O. Box 16418, Az-Zawiyah, Libya.


Accumulating data from various clinical trial studies suggests that adjuvant therapy with ovarian hormones (estrogens) could be effective in reducing cognitive deficit and psychopathological symptoms in women with psychiatric disorders. However, estrogen therapy poses serious limitations and health issues including feminization in men and increased risks of thromboembolism, hot flashes, breast hyperplasia, and endometrium hyperplasia when used for longer duration in older women (aged ≥ 60 years) or in women who have genetic predispositions. On the other hand, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), which may (or may not) carry some risks of hot flashes, thromboembolism, breast hyperplasia, and endometrial hyperplasia, are generally devoid of feminization effect. In clinical trial studies, adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen, a triphenylethylene class of SERM, has been found to reduce the frequency of manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder, whereas addition of raloxifene, a benzothiophene class of SERM, to regular doses of antipsychotic drugs has been found to reduce cognitive deficit and psychological symptoms in men and women with schizophrenia, including women with treatment refractory psychosis. These outcomes together with potent neurocognitive, neuroprotective, and cardiometabolic properties suggest that SERMs could be the potential targets for designing effective and safer therapies for psychiatric disorders.

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