May 26, 2009

Publication: Irish Daily Mail

Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Page: 28

Headline: HRT patch aids schizophrenics
                                   HRT patch aids



                                   HRT patches could be an unlikely new
                                   treatment for men and women with
                                    Australian researchers have found those
                                   with a history of the mental illness have
                                   far fewer symptoms if they wear a
                                   hormone replacement patch on their skin.
                                    One per cent of the Irish population suf-
                                   fers from schizophrenia. Roughly 20 per
                                   cent will never suffer another episode, but
                                   most will suffer a relapse within two years.
                                    The exact cause remains a mystery.
                                   However, those with a family history of
                                   schizophrenia are more at risk.
                                    Treatment usually involves powerful
                                   antipsychotic drugs.          
                                    The latest study tested oestrogen skin
                                   patches  on men and women and
                                   measured improvements in their symp-
                                   toms. In both groups, there was a signif-
                                   icant reduction in psychotic behaviour.
                                    Scientists think oestrogen has a
                                   protective effect on brain cells.