Cortisol & psychosis, abstract 1: on HPA axis functioning preceding psychosis

Abstract from a study yet to be published, lifted as is from PubMed:

HPA axis functioning associated with transition to psychosis: Combined DEX/CRH test.

J. Psychiatr. Res. 2006 Jan 2. Thompson KN, Berger G, Phillips LJ, Komesaroff P, Purcell R, McGorry PD.

We investigated functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in 12 young people at ultra high risk for developing psychosis, using the combined dexamethasone corticotrophin releasing hormone (DEX/CRH) test. Over a two year period, three of the 12 participants developed an acute psychosis. Descriptive analysis of the data indicated that contrary to expectations, participants who did not make the transition to psychosis had on average higher cortisol levels at the latter stages of the test, as well as a greater severity of depression and anxiety symptoms, than participants who subsequently developed psychosis. These preliminary results suggest that dysregulated HPA-axis functioning in individuals at high risk for psychosis may be associated more with comorbid depression symptoms than factors specifically related to the process of emerging psychosis illness.

(ORYGEN Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Poplar Road, Locked Bag 10, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.)

PMID: 16403528 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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