Guiding future research

Our scientists have been asked to compile a special edition of Schizophrenia Research, looking specifically at the hormones implicated in the disorder.

Tertia and Katie_web

Dr Tertia Purves-Tyson and Katie Allen

The September issue of peer-reviewed journal Schizophrenia Research, will this year be guest-edited by Prof Cyndi Shannon Weickert with assistance from myself and Katie Allen (right). We were invited to bring together a collection of articles that examine the influence of hormones in schizophrenia.

It’s a real honour to be asked to do this. It’s timely to consider the effect of sex hormones on schizophrenia given the recent success of our CASSI clinical trial. Because we had this breakthrough we’ve gathered together recent studies that examine how sex hormones are involved and how we can better utilise them.

The articles in the special issue will cover everything from basic research to clinical studies and offer insights into how hormones may contribute to molecular and behavioural changes in schizophrenia.

Although oestrogens have received the most attention, it has become clear that testosterone and oxytocin may also play an important role in schizophrenia and the modulation of symptoms. Harnessing these hormones may lead to adjunctive therapies, especially targeting cognitive symptoms, which are currently the most disabling and un-treated aspect of schizophrenia.

Themed issues of journals tend to garner more attention from their readership, which includes not just schizophrenia researchers but other neuroscientists, psychiatrists and clinicians from around the world. These themed issues in scientific journals often get cited frequently. This special issue will help inform the schizophrenia research community of these important studies and guide the focus for future research.

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