Increased serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in the first episode but not in subsequent episodes in male patients with schizophrenia
Murat Beyazyüz,1 Yakup Albayrak,2 Elmas Beyazyüz,3 Cüneyt Ünsal,2 Erol Göka3
1Department of Psychiatry, Gölbasi Hasvak State Hospital, Ankara, 2Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Namik Kemal University, Tekirdağ, 3Department of Psychiatry, Ankara Numune Education and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey
Background: Many studies have investigated the relationship between blood levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester (DHEA-S), cortisol, progesterone, and testosterone and the onset, prognosis, symptom severity, and treatment response of schizophrenia. In the present study, we assessed potential differences in blood levels of neurosteroids between drug-naïve first-episode patients with schizophrenia (FES), and drug-free patients with schizophrenia who were not in the first episode but were in a phase of acute exacerbation (DFP).
Materials and methods: The present study included 32 male FES, 28 male DFP, and 24 male healthy controls (HC). Groups were compared in terms of blood levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA-S.
Results: Blood levels of ACTH, cortisol, testosterone, and progesterone were similar among the groups. The mean value of serum DHEA-S was significantly different among the groups (P<0.001). The value of serum DHEA-S was higher in the FES group than in the DFP and HC groups (both P<0.001). The mean values of serum DHEA-S in the HC and DFP groups were found to be similar (P=0.33).
Conclusion: We suggest that higher values of DHEA-S in the FES group compared with both the DFP and HC groups indicate that this neurosteroid response is unique to first-episode schizophrenia patients. Further studies are needed to investigate the difference in blood levels of neurosteroids in different groups in terms of age of diagnosis.
Keywords: neurosteroid, effect, psychosis
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