Estradiol Could Help Female Schizophrenics

A randomized clinical study has shown that estradiol alleviates symptoms of schizophrenia in women who were resistant to other forms of treatment.

AsianScientist (Jun 4, 2014) – A randomized controlled trial has revealed that the female hormone estradiol could help treat schizophrenia in previously treatment-resistant women. The study has been published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Led by Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) Professor Jayashri Kulkarni, the study is the first large-scale randomized-controlled trial in women with treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

The largest clinical trial in the world of its type, found that in an eight week, three arm, double blind, placebo-controlled, adjunctive trial of estradiol, women who were given estradiol made better recoveries than those who were given a placebo.

Kulkarni said persistent schizophrenia was common despite advances over the years in antipsychotic drug development.

“A specific focus for women with schizophrenia is still somewhat lacking and there is a real need to consider the special issues facing women with schizophrenia,” Kulkarni said.

“What we found was that adjunctive estradiol treatment has practical use for women who have not responded well to antipsychotic drug treatment previously. We also found that due to the fluctuations of estrogen in woman and its impact on mental state; the premenstrual period, post natal and menopause phases of a woman’s life are critical times for mental state changes. A team approach to her treatment is vital to the best health and mental health care outcomes.”

Kulkarni said she was excited about the positive results of the study, with trials of selective estrogen receptor modulators representing a hopeful future direction for schizophrenia research.

“There are many promising newer forms of hormone treatment that offer great hope in the much-needed area of new, effective treatments for people with persistent schizophrenia and should be expanded to include men and postmenopausal women.”

The article can be found at: Kulkarni et al. (2014) Estradiol for treatment-resistant schizophrenia: a large-scale randomized-controlled trial in women of child-bearing age.


Source: Monash University; Photo: Lisa Townley/Flickr/CC.

Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning science and technology magazine that highlights R&D news stories from Asia to a global audience. The magazine is published by Singapore-headquartered Wildtype Media Group.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist