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Endocrine disturbances and psychiatric disorders

Monteleone, Palmiero

Review Article

The possibility of a cause and effect link between endocrinopathies and mental disorders was suggested at the beginning of the last century, but was never demonstrated because of a lack of adequate methodology. Therefore, in the 1960s, psychoneuroendocrinology developed as a methodological approach to assess brain neurotransmitter function indirectly in psychiatric disorders. In the past two decades, however, the initial aetiopathogenetic connection between endocrine disturbances and mental disorders has been re-proposed with new and stronger experimental evidence. The aim of this article is to review the most recent advances suggesting a causative role of endocrinopathies in some psychiatric disorders, especially major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Naples, Italy

Correspondence to Palmiero Monteleone, MD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Largo Madonna delle Grazie, 80138 Napoli, Italy. Tel: +39 081 5666517; fax: +39 081 5666523; e-mail:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.