Gender and duration of untreated psychosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
ABSTRACT Duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) can influence the prognosis of schizophrenia. Previous studies have suggested that gender may influence the length of DUP. This study reports the result of the first systematic literature review and meta-analysis on the role of gender in influencing DUP in first-episode psychosis.
Systematic literature search in PubMed/Medline and Ovid/PsychINFO. Twenty-seven studies presenting data on 4721 patients diagnosed with psychosis at their first episode (2834 males and 1887 females) were included in the analysis.
Samples had a higher proportion of males: odds ratio = 2.5 (95% confidence interval: 1.8-3.3). Mean age at first contact was 25.4 for males and 27.5 for females. Patients from non-Western countries were older at first contact than patients from Western countries. Average DUP in schizophrenia was 64 weeks and did not differ between genders but was shorter in Western compared with non-Western countries.
Earlier age at first contact and larger incidence in males support the existence of specific gender differences in first-episode psychosis; however, these are not associated with DUP length.
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ABSTRACT: Neurosteroids are synthesized in the brain and modulate brain excitability. There is increasing evidence of their sedative, anesthetic and antiseizure properties, as well as their influence on mood. Currently neurosteroids are classified as pregnane neurosteroids (allopregnanolone and allotetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone), androstane neurosteroids (androstanediol and etiocholanone) or sulfated neurosteroids (pregnenolone sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate). Both preclinical and clinical findings indicate that progesterone derivative neurosteroids such as allopregnanolone and allotetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone play a role in mood disorders. Clozapine and olanzapine, which were shown to be effective in stabilizing bipolar disorder, elevate pregnenolone levels in rat hippocampus, cerebral cortex, and serum. In lithium-treated mice, the blood levels of allopregnanolone and pregnenolone were elevated compared to control levels. Women diagnosed with bipolar disorder typically show symptomatic exacerbation in relation to the menstrual cycle, and show vulnerability to the onset or recurrence of mood disorders immediately after giving birth, when the levels of neurosteroid derivatives of progesterone drop. Whereas in women who had recovered from bipolar disorder, the plasma concentration of allopregnanolone was elevated compared to either healthy controls or women with major depressive disorder during the premenstrual period. During depressive episodes, blood level of allopregnanolone is low. Treatment with fluoxetine tends to stabilize the levels of neurosteroids in depression. These findings converge to suggest that these steroids have significant mood-stabilizing effect. This hypothesis is consistent with the observation that a number of anticonvulsants are effective therapies for bipolar disorder, a finding also consistent with the antiseizure properties of neurosteroids. Further exploration of action of neuroactive steroids is likely to open new frontiers in the investigation of the etiology and treatment of mood disorders, particularly bipolar disorders.Behavioral and Brain Functions 12/2012; 8(1):61. · 2.13 Impact Factor