Article

Adrenal androgen and gonadal hormone levels in adolescent girls with conduct disorder

Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
Psychoneuroendocrinology (Impact Factor: 5.59). 12/2006; 31(10):1245-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2006.09.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There are few data on the biological correlates of female antisocial behavior. This study compared adrenal androgen and gonadal hormone levels in adolescent girls with conduct disorder (CD) to girls without any psychiatric disorder (NC). We studied 87 girls, (47 CD; 36 NC), ages 15-17 years, obtaining three blood samples, drawn 20 min apart between 8 and 9 AM in the first 72 h of the onset of menstrual flow. Plasma was assayed for testosterone, estradiol, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and cortisol; area under the curve (AUC) for each of the three samples was used in the data analysis. We also calculated the Free Testosterone Index, Free Estrogen Index, Index of Hyperandrogenism and cortisol to DHEA ratio. In addition to receiving a full psychiatric interview, each girl completed a self-report questionnaire on general aggression. Main hormone analyses controlled for potentially confounding variables such as psychiatric comorbidity and race. Girls with CD had significantly lower cortisol to DHEA ratios, but did not differ from NC girls on any other hormone variable. Girls with symptoms of aggressive CD had significantly higher mean free testosterone indexes, lower SHBG levels, and lower cortisol to DHEA ratios than girls with non-aggressive CD. Girls with CD scored higher on the aggression questionnaire, but there was no association between general aggression and any hormone variable for the sample. Our data suggest that girls with CD, particularly aggressive CD, have lower cortisol to DHEA ratios, higher levels of free testosterone, and lower levels of SHBG. Clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.

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    • "Psychiatry Research (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.008i 1998; Dorn et al., 2009) and oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder in boys. However, a study of prepubertal boys (Constantino et al., 1993) and another study of adolescent girls (Pajer et al., 2006) found no such association. A limitation in previous studies is that many have measured total testosterone only and not in association with sex hormonebinding globulin (e.g., Dabbs and Morris, 1990; Mazur, 1995), which can be affected by, for example, liver damage in contrast to the unbound bioavailable proportion of free testosterone. "
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    07/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.008
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    • "Psychopathic traits, however, were associated with a testosterone-cortisol interaction in men only, ánd indicated a positive relation with testosterone in individuals with high cortisol levels (Welker et al., 2014). The two studies using female samples (Denson et al., 2012; Pajer et al., 2006) yielded contrasting results as well. Although Glenn et al. (2011) and Scerbo and Kolko (1994) investigated mixed-gender samples, the large majority in these studies (88% and 92% respectively ) was male, and gender comparisons could not be made. "
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    • "In addition, female participants were scheduled for their appointments during the first three days of their menstrual period, after the onset of menstrual flow (i.e., within the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle). This procedure allowed us to control for the effects of birth control medication and menstrual cycle phase on hormone concentrations in female participants (Pajer et al., 2006). Participation took place during a single session that lasted between 1.5 and 2 hr, and only one participant was tested during each session. "
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