Psychoneuroendocrinology of schizophrenia.
The study of psychoneuroendocrinology of schizophrenia has yielded an extensive but inconclusive body of data. Investigations to date have been limited by several factors, including the confounding effects of neuroleptic drugs, methodological limitations, and lack of appreciation for the heterogeneity of the illness. Previously, the focus of research has been on the measurement of anterior pituitary hormones, guided by the assumptions that these hormones are regulated by the central nervous system (CNS) to a significant degree and that the unique anatomic relationship of the pituitary gland to the hypothalamus and the CNS is potentially relevant. Patients with schizophrenia do appear to have distinct endocrinologic profiles. However, although the hormonal differences between patients with schizophrenia and the general population appear to be subtle in magnitude. Nonetheless, investigation, and the exploration of the possible effect of gonadal and posterior pituitary hormones merits particular attention.
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