Elevated circulatory of GABA(A) - Antagonistic neurosteroids in patients with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder

B. Spivak, R. Maayan, M. Kotler, R. Mester, I. Gil-Ad, B. Shtaif, A. Weizman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a multisystem neurobiological disorder with chronic alterations in various neurochemical systems. Levels of the GABA(A) - antagonistic neurosteroids plasma dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulphate derivate, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) may be relevant to depressive and anxiety disorders, including PTSD. Methods. We assessed the circulatory levels of morning plasma DHEA and DHEAS in 21 male outpatients with untreated chronic combat-related PTSD (CR-PTSD), and 18 healthy control male subjects. Results. Compared with the control subjects, the PTSD patients showed significantly higher plasma DHEA and DHEAS levels. Conclusions. Chronic CR-PTSD may be associated with increased circulatory level of neuroactive steroids with inhibitory activity at the GABA(A) receptors. Neurosteroid-induced decreased GABA-ergic tone may be relevant to the symptomatology and pathophysiology of chronic PTSD, as well as to the frequent co-morbidity of PTSD with depression and anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1231
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Medicine
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

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