http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/325986

Estrogen helps fight schizophrenia in women

Posted Jun 3, 2012 by Melissa Horrocks
Estrogen link found helpful in treating Schizophrenia in women. Raloxifene may help individuals suffering from Schizophrenia.
Embroidered words and phrases in this artwork by a schizophrenic patient show her attempt to stitch ...
Cometstarmom/Flickr.com
Embroidered words and phrases in this artwork by a schizophrenic patient show her attempt to stitch together an understanding of reality; researchers have attempted to better understand the apparent ties between schizophrenia and other brain diseases, such as epilepsy.
On Friday, June 01 Elsevier Global Medical News reports that Raloxifene is gaining ground in Schizophrenia treatment. Due to the fact that estrogen plays a protective, mitigating effect in women they tend to present with Schizophrenia later in life. Women are likely to present less than men, and certain studies have shown that they also have more favourable prognosis and treatment.
It has been discovered that estrogen helps to modulate dopamine and serotonin transmission. Women who have schizophrenia also have lower estrogen levels compared to healthy women. The illness usually strikes in the latter menstrual cycle, when the estrogen levels drop. Women who are older, tend to have a higher risk of schizophrenia than men.
A handful of studies have been carried out to explore whether giving estrogen in oral or trans-dermal form, is useful as a treatment for schizophrenia. Studies have begun to see whether giving raloxifene to women with schizophrenia is helpful when combined with anti-psychotics.
In 2011, a random placebo-controlled trial was carried out using 33, postmenopausal women with schizophrenia, Dr. Usall and colleagues discovered that providing 60 mg of raloxifene daily improved psychotic symptoms at 12 weeks compared to anti-psychotics alone.
Dr. Usall stated that, “My main objective is to improve the treatment of patients with schizophrenia, as well as to improve our knowledge of the etiology of schizophrenia,” in another interview, Dr. Usall said. “If our trial and others confirm and expand upon our positive results, I think that the use of raloxifene could be recommended in postmenopausal patients.”
Dr. Usall considered using raloxifene in women who were premenopausal, especially those who showed more severe signs of schizophrenia near their menstrual cycles. However, she also noted that safety information was not available for the higher dosage and for younger women. “My trial addresses the possible efficacy of raloxifene only in postmenopausal women with schizophrenia,” Dr. Usall said.