Serum cortisol in patients with schizophrenia: association with psychopathology and response to antipsychotics

Babinkostova, Zoja and Stefanovski, Branko and Janikevik Ivanovska, Danijela and Samardziska, Valentina (2015) Serum cortisol in patients with schizophrenia: association with psychopathology and response to antipsychotics. Sylwan Journal. English Edition, 59 (4). pp. 421-434. ISSN 0039-7660

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Abstract

Background: Previous studies suggested that alterations in serum cortisol levels may play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Imbalance in serum cortisol levels may be related to responsivity to antipsychotic treatment. Aim: To compare serum cortisol levels between patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls and to evaluate hormone association with psychopathology and response to antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia. Material and Methods: This clinical prospective study included 60 patients with schizophrenia and 40 healthy age and sex matched controls. All patients experienced an acute exacerbation of the illness (PANSS: P1 and P3 ≥ 4). Clinical evaluation of patients was performed using the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale. A questionnaire for socio-demographic and clinical data collection was used. For the purposes of the study, the examined group was divided in two subgroups: responders and nonresponders. Serum cortisol and DHEA-S levels were measured at baseline in all participants and after 3 and 6 weeks of the antipsychotic treatment in patients with schizophrenia. Results: Patients with schizophrenia had significantly higher serum cortisol levels compared with control group. Responders had significantly higher serum cortisol levels compared with nonresponders. From the three analyzed factors (serum cortisol, DHEA-S and cortisol/DHEA-S ratio), only serum cortisol was significant factor for antipsychotic treatment response. Responders group had significant correlation between serum cortisol and PANSS positive scale score. Conclusion: Elevated serum cortisol levels may be considered as a biomarker for the diagnosis of schizophrenia and may be used as a significant predictor for positive response to antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia patients with acute exacerbation. Serum cortisol levels are associated with severity of specific symptoms in patients with schizophrenia according to their responsivity to antipsychotic treatment.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Medical and Health Sciences > Clinical medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medical Science
Depositing User: Danijela Janikevik
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 08:54
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2015 09:13
URI: http://eprints.ugd.edu.mk/id/eprint/14151

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