The Menopausal Transition

Interface between Gynecology and Psychiatry

Editor(s): Soares C.N. (Hamilton, Ont.) 
Warren M. (New York, N.Y.) 
Table of Contents
Vol. 175, No. , 2009
Section title: Paper
Soares CN, Warren M (eds): The Menopausal Transition. Interface between Gynecology and Psychiatry. Key Issues in Mental Health. Basel, Karger, 2009, vol 175, pp 115–126

Psychotic Disorders and Menopause: The Untold Story

Riecher-Rössler A.
Psychiatric Outpatient Department, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland

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This chapter aims to give an overview on the influence of menopause on psychotic disorders.Menopause is associated with a loss of estrogens; estrogen has important neuro- and psychoprotec-tive activities, thus its decline and/or instability may trigger or aggravate mental disorders includingpsychotic ones. As a result, perimenopause may lead to an enhanced risk of first onset of schizophrenic psychoses or ‘late-onset schizophrenia’. Women with pre-existing chronic schizophreniatend to have a deterioration of their illness after menopause and a higher demand for antipsychoticmedication. Apart from the psychotic symptoms, many other conditions can be aggravated by theloss of estrogens, including sleep disturbances, irritability, depression, cognitive impairment andsexual problems. In addition, many females with diagnosis of schizophrenia may present with premature menopause due to antipsychotic or stress-induced hyperprolactinamia and the subsequentgonadal suppression. Apart from psychotherapy and social measures, replacement of 17β-estradiolmay be helpful in women with schizophrenia in the perimenopause and early postmenopause, butits use might also carry some risks. More research is needed on the indications and contraindicationsfor hormone replacement in this context.

 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Prof. Dr. med. Anita Riecher, Psychiatric Outpatient Department, University Hospital Basel, Petersgraben 4, CH-4031 Basel (Switzerland), Tel. +41 61 265 51 14, Fax +41 61 265 45 99, E-Mail

 goto top of outline Article Information

Number of Print Pages : 12

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Book Serie: Key Issues in Mental Health, Vol. 175, Year 2009

Editor(s): Riecher-Rössler, A. (Basel); Steiner, M. (Hamilton, Ont.)
ISSN: 1662-4874 (Print), eISSN: 1662-4882 (Online)

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Book Title: The Menopausal Transition (Interface between Gynecology and Psychiatry)

Editor(s): Soares CN, Warren M (eds)

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