A systematic review of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis function in schizophrenia: implications for mortality
Serum cortisol concentrations were measured after dexamethasone administration (1 mg) in 21 neuroleptic-free schizophrenic inpatients. Patients were assessed using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and a battery of cognitive tests. A significant correlation was found between negative symptoms and both 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM post-dexamethasone cortisol concentration (PDC). Cognitive impairment on several measures was also correlated with 8 AM PDC, but in an independent manner. Although positive and negative symptoms were unrelated, exploratory analysis revealed a significant inverse correlation between a positive symptom grouping and both 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM PDC.