Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis dysfunction: An innate pathophysiology of schizophrenia?

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The female hormone 17β-estradiol is postulated to be protective against schizophrenia onset and severity. Hypoestrogenism is a common phenomenon in women with schizophrenia that has serious effects that adds to the burden of an already very onerous disease. The cause of hypoestrogenism is largely attributed to antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia. Evidence suggest however that a significant portion of female schizophrenia patients develop hypoestrogenism either before antipsychotic treatment or without regard to the level of prolactin, suggesting that for a sizeable segment of female patients, gonadal abnormality may be an innate and early aspect of the disease. This review aims to summarise the available literature that examines gonadal dysfunction in schizophrenia through this prism as well as to outline some recent developments in treatment strategies that may provide feasible ways to successfully tackle hypoestrogenism in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Schizophrenia
  • Endocrinology
  • Estradiol
  • Antipsychotic
  • hypoestrogenism
  • hyperprolactinaemia

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