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Pharmachosexology: Use of Sex Hormones in Psychiatric Conditions

  • Alessandra Daphne Fisher
  • Jiska Ristori
  • Mario Maggi
Chapter
Part of the Trends in Andrology and Sexual Medicine book series (TASM)

Abstract

Increasing evidence supports the influence of sex hormones on the central nervous system’s (CNS) plasticity and mental state. Indeed, gender differences have been described in proneness to many psychiatric and neurological diseases, among which differences in incidence between men and women have been reported. In addition, biological aspects can affect the clinical presentation of some mental diseases. In fact, changes in hormonal levels across the life span may also affect mental illness expression.

The present contribution is aimed at summarizing the possible interplay between gonadal hormones and mental health. In particular, sex hormones may be relevant in mentally ill patients for three reasons: (1) they can play a role in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders; (2) they may be used to treat mental illness; and (3) treatment with sex hormones may have psychiatric side effects. The available literature exploring the relationship between sex hormones and psychiatric conditions highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary assessment in mentally ill patients. Prospective randomized studies investigating the impact of hormone replacement therapy on psychological profiles may provide crucial information in better understanding sex hormones’ influences on mental state, as well as optimizing treatments in mentally vulnerable patients.

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Daphne Fisher
    • 1
  • Jiska Ristori
    • 1
  • Mario Maggi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental, Clinical and Biomedical SciencesUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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