HPA axis functioning associated with transition to psychosis: Combined DEX/CRH test

K N Thompson, G Berger, Lisa J Phillips, Paul Alter Komesaroff, Rosemary Purcell, Patrick D McGorry

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We investigated functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in 12 young people at ultra high risk for developing psychosis, using the combined dexamethasone corticotrophin releasing hormone (DEX/CRH) test. Over a two year period, three of the 12 participants developed an acute psychosis. Descriptive analysis of the data indicated that contrary to expectations, participants who did not make the transition to psychosis had on average higher cortisol levels at the latter stages of the test, as well as a greater severity of depression and anxiety symptoms, than participants who subsequently developed psychosis. These preliminary results suggest that dysregulated HPA-axis functioning in individuals at high risk for psychosis may be associated more with comorbid depression symptoms than factors specifically related to the process of emerging psychosis illness. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446 - 450
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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