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Sex differences in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and PTSD: are gonadal hormones the link?


Gogos, A and Ney, LJ and Seymour, N and Van Rheenen, TE and Felmingham, KL, Sex differences in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and PTSD: are gonadal hormones the link?, British Journal of Pharmacology, 176, (21) pp. 4119-4135. ISSN 1476-5381 (2019) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2019 The British Pharmacological Society. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

DOI: doi:10.1111/bph.14584


In this review, we describe the sex differences in prevalence, onset, symptom profiles and disease outcome that are evident in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Women with schizophrenia tend to exhibit less disease impairment than men; by contrast, women with post-traumatic stress disorder are more affected than men. The most likely candidates to explain these sex differences are gonadal hormones. This review details the clinical evidence that estradiol and progesterone are dysregulated in these psychiatric disorders. Notably, existing data on estradiol, and to a lesser extent, progesterone, suggest that low levels of these hormones may increase the risk of disease development and worsen symptom severity. We argue that future studies require a more inclusive, considered analysis of gonadal steroid hormones and the intricacies of the interactions between them, with methodological rigour applied, to enhance our understanding of the roles of steroid hormones in psychiatric disorders.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (BD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), estradiol; progesterone, sex differences, sex hormones
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Ney, LJ (Mr Luke Ney)
ID Code:133289
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:64
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2019-06-21
Last Modified:2020-08-07
Downloads:31 View Download Statistics

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