There has been little research into the effects of menopause on symptoms, social and cognitive functioning in women with schizophrenia, and the results are controversial. The most replicated finding is that late-onset schizophrenia is more prevalent in women than in men and that this fact appears to be related to the diminution of estrogen levels during menopause.
Estrogens have a known protective effect on CNS. Animal research has shown that estrogen has a modulating effect on the dopaminergic, glutamatergic and serotonergic systems.
There are concerns about long-term use of sexual hormone therapy in postmenopausal women with regard to breast cancer risk, and the use of the selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS's) can be a better option.
Raloxifene is a SERM that is used in the preventive treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis and has no effect in the breast and uterus. A number of studies seem to indicate that raloxifene acts on brain dopamine and serotonin systems in a similar way to conjugated estrogens.
In this presentation, I will show the results of some clinical trials that have studied the efficacy of raloxifene as a coadjuvant treatment of patients with schizophrenia. Our team has done two clinical trials that studied the efficacy of 60 mg of raloxifene for the treatment of negative symptoms in postmenopausal women with schizophrenia. Our results showed that raloxifene improved the negative symptoms better than placebo. We concluded that raloxifene seems to be a promising option to treat some patients with schizophrenia.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.