Oestrogen reduces psychosis symptoms in women
In the first large-scale clinical trial of oestrogen in women with treatment-resistant schizophrenia, researchers from the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre randomised 180 women aged 18–45 into three groups: the first received 100mcg of transdermal oestradiol for eight weeks, the second received 200mcg and the third received a placebo patch.
All three groups continued taking their stable dose of antipsychotic medications, converted to risperidone equivalents.
At the end of the trial, both groups with the oestradiol patches had decreases in scores of psychosis symptoms as measured on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), regardless of their antipsychotic dose.
Women receiving 200mcg experienced the greatest benefit, with a 13-point reduction in total PANSS score compared to a five-point reduction in the placebo group.
“We found that both groups of oestradiol dosing provided better outcomes for the