Researchers from Columbia University and the Institute of Neurosciences in Barcelona assessed cortisol levels in 33 patients at clinical high risk of psychosis. Cortisol level was associated with stress sensitivity, and no other symptom, and was significantly higher in patients who were medication-free compared to controls and to patients taking medications. The authors conclude “that excess activation of the HPA axis and/or neuroendocrine abnormalities characterize the psychosis risk state for at least a subset of patients. Our findings further suggest that psychotropic medications may have a normalizing effect on HPA-axis dysfunction…”
Sugranyes, G., Thompson, J., Corcoran, C.; HPA-axis Function, Symptoms, and Medication Exposure in Youths at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis. Journal of Psychiatric Research, online August 11, 2012
Cortisol levels increased in youth at high risk for psychosis
The conclusions of this study are probably not valid. Questions:
– How did they identify subjects at clinical high risk for psychosis? A proposed diagnosis of pre-psychosis was dropped from the DSM-5 amid great uproar about excessive false positives; Patrick McGorry, one of the major proponents of the concept, disavowed it http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/aboutturn-on-treatment-of-the-young-20120219-1th8a.html
Therefore, selection of the subject population representing clinical high risk of psychosis is questionable.
– From the abstract: “Basal salivary cortisol secretion was assessed in 33 patients at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis (21 medication-free and 12 taking a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and/or atypical antipsychotic), and 13 healthy controls. Among the CHR patients, we also examined associations of basal salivary cortisol with symptoms (positive, negative, mood, stress sensitivity) and clinical outcome.”
This is a lousy way to test for cortisol levels, which change throughout the day.
– 12 out of 33 subjects were taking psychiatric medications, which can affect cortisol levels.
In other news all stressed out humans have elevated cortisol (known as the stress hormone), and stressed out humans who turn to heroin, alcohol, orgasms, win the lottery, OR turn to psychiatry’s major tranquilizer drugs, can artificially make themselves a little less stressed out.
Oh and researchers have concluded their findings further suggest that winning at the race track may have a normalizing effect on HPA-axis dysfunction found in gamblers who have recently suffered a losing streak.
‘The authors conclude “that excess activation of the HPA axis and/or neuroendocrine abnormalities characterize the psychosis risk state for at least a subset of patients. Our findings further suggest that psychotropic medications may have a normalizing effect on HPA-axis dysfunction…’
This is like finding unhappy people cry more, produce more tears, and attributing this to ‘tear duct dysfunction’. Another body blaming, biological determinist piece of research by people so convinced that distressing thoughts need to be blamed on dysfunctional bodily systems, they are willing to sell a doomsday song to these young people in the study. Pure evil.
I’m glad I’m not one of those young people labeled ‘at risk’ by these quacks. Boy. They’ll be lucky if they get to adulthood alive with that much psychiatric meddling and scrutiny on them.
A message to parents:
NEVER give the keys to your child’s brain to a psychiatrist!
If you find your kid within a thousand yards of one of these bozos…
Grab your kid by the hand… and RUN!
“Cortisol level was associated with stress sensitivity… ”
Since the planet, galaxy and possibly even the Universe itself are “going nuts”, I diagnose both the Sun AND Earth as having severe Bi-Polar disorder and probably some schizophrenia and psychosis. Oh, and abundant cortisol levels – for sure. I half-joke.
3MIN News August 17, 2012
The environment *does* matter, in every aspect of our being. The economists talk about economic collapse and the earth scientists talk about atmospheric collapse.
And when I was homeless in 2008, I knew that my insides were going to collapse – which they did.
Now we just need Psychiatry to collapse. 🙂
Re: “Now we just need Psychiatry to collapse.”
Ditto, on “Amen!”
Thaey may have dropped it from DSM 5 consideration but there are clinical trials in this country currently “treating” pre-psychosis it with a PACT type model family “support” including the neuroletic drugs.