Endocrine disturbances and psychiatric disorders

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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.

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