Pregnenolone in the Management of Schizophrenia Patients
Efficacy and Safety of Pregnenolone Augmentation in the Management of Schizophrenia Patients: a Randomised Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial
Lead SponsorSha'ar Menashe Mental Health Center
StatusCompleted No Results Posted
Pregnenolone is a "neurosteroid" and possesses intrinsic behavioral and brain effects in animals, affecting the GABA(A) and other receptors. Pregnenolone is serves as the precursor for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate ester (DHEAS). There is evidence of efficacy of DHEA augmentation in schizophrenia, we therefore sought to examine the efficacy of augmentation of antipsychotic treatment of schizophrenia patients with pregnenolone. It is hypothesized that the combined effect of antipsychotic agents and pregnenolone would be beneficial in the treatment of negative,depressive, and cognitive symptoms.
Either pregnenolone (30 mg/d or 200 mg/d), DHEA (400 mg/d)or placebo will be added to regular treatment for 8 weeks. Subjects will be assessed at baseline and after 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of treatment. An extensive battery of research instruments will be used for assessment of the following domains of interest: psychopathology, insight, side effects, and cognitive functions. Plasma pregnenolone, DHEA(S), cortisol and other relevant steroids will be assayed at baseline, 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of treatment. Efficacy and safety of augmentation of antipsychotic treatment with pregnenolone will be analyzed.
Inclusion Criteria: DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder Ability and willingness to sign informed consent for participation in the study Exclusion Criteria: Evidence of organic brain damage, mental retardation, alcohol or drug abuse Prostate nodules or cancer. Moderate symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy such as hesitancy, urgency, frequent voiding and feeling of incomplete voiding. History of ischemic cardiac disease. Renal disease. Hepatic dysfunction. Women with a history of carcinoma of the breast, or any women with a family history of the following: premenopausal breast cancer or bilateral breast cancer in a first degree relative; multiple family members (greater than three relatives) with postmenopausal breast cancer. Women with a history of uterine cancer. Patients with a known hypersensitivity to androgens. Pregnant women.