What causes a peak in the incidence of schizophrenia during menopause?

Updated: Jan 30, 2019
  • Author: Nita V Bhatt, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
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Answer

Answer

In most cases, schizophrenia first manifests in young adulthood, with the rate of new cases declining in both male and female individuals after this time. A second peak in the incidence of schizophrenia is noted among women aged 45–50 years; this second peak is not observed in men. [20]

Some researchers have observed a worsening of the course of schizophrenia in women during the menopausal transition. These observations suggest that estrogen may play a modulatory role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. [21]


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