Schizophrenia is a common malady in our society. Estimates indicate that close to 1% of people in North America suffer from schizophrenia. The disorder affects all races, cultures, and both genders. The disorder is associated with inability to determine what is real. These individuals may develop false beliefs, hallucinations, distorted perceptions and emotional withdrawal. Over time, most schizophrenics develop apathy.
Over the years, the major treatment for schizophrenia has been based on the use of drugs. Each and every pharmaceutical antipsychotic drug available today has its pros and cons; there is no ideal drug and many of these drugs also have profound side effects. In the last two decades, there has been a push by some health workers to recommend sex hormones, estrogen and testosterone, for the treatment of schizophrenia.
So far, there is not a single study that has shown a correlation between low levels of testosterone and schizophrenia, and in fact, many individuals with low levels of testosterone never develop schizophrenia. Nevertheless, like all things in medicine, there are always some unorthodox health care workers who view things differently and put into practice unsubstantiated theories.
Over the decades, many individuals with schizophrenia have been treated with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) as an adjunctive therapy to standard antipsychotic drugs.
The question remains, is testosterone helpful for schizophrenia?
Literature analysis of three small studies compared antipsychotic drugs to DHEA and a sugar pill.
What about the results?
There was no evidence that supplementing testosterone benefitted schizophrenics. Even though the number of patients studied was small, there was no benefit seen. Testosterone did not help improve any of the symptoms of schizophrenia. The only positive thing to come out of the study was that short-term use of testosterone was not found to be associated with any harmful side effects.
Therefore, for the moment, schizophrenia is still treated with conventional pharmaceutical drugs and the use of sex hormones remains experimental.