Researchers applied estrogen patches to premenopausal women with schizophrenia over an eight-week period. Following this period, the women experienced fewer hallucinations and delusions. They also demonstrated improved social skills and a new sense of initiative.
Many previous studies that investigated the treatment of schizophrenia resulted in inconsistent findings, with positive outcomes that could not be replicated. Consequently, schizophrenia is largely misunderstood. Yet, this new Israeli study was able to replicate and confirm the results discovered by Dr. Jayashri Kulkarni, Professor of Psychiatry at The Alfred and Monash University in Australia. The link between estrogen patches and an improvement in schizophrenia symptoms in women has now been scientifically verified.
“This is a significant breakthrough in the study of schizophrenia,” said Prof. Weiser. “These latest findings are a promising step toward understanding schizophrenia in women, and Sheba Medical Center is honored to be a part of this discovery.”
The promising results support the continued study of the relationship between estrogen and schizophrenia and highlight the pressing need to develop new chemical compounds that bind estrogen receptors in the brain. Additionally, they shed light on the ways in which men and women are affected differently.
The study was funded by the Stanley Medical Research Institute, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, and conducted in the Republic of Moldova.