Neuroactive Steroids in First-Episode Psychosis: A Role for Progesterone?

Martino Belvederi Murri, Flaminia Fanelli, Uberto Pagotto, Elena Bonora, Federico Triolo, Luigi Chiri, Fabio Allegri, Marco Mezzullo, Marco Menchetti, Valeria Mondelli, Carmine Pariante, Domenico Berardi, Ilaria Tarricone*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Neuroactive steroids may play a role in the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders, but few studies examined this issue. We compared serum levels of cortisol, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and progesterone between a representative sample of first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and age- and gender-matched healthy subjects. Furthermore, we analyzed the associations between neuroactive steroids levels and the severity of psychotic symptom dimensions. Male patients had lower levels of progesterone than controls (p = 0.03). Progesterone levels were inversely associated with the severity of positive symptoms (p = 0.007). Consistent with preclinical findings, results suggest that progesterone might have a role in the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1942828
JournalSchizophrenia Research and Treatment
Volume2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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