One of the top causes of disability across the globe, schizophrenia can significantly diminish educational, occupational and psychosocial performance, impairing the lives of millions of people worldwide. Although the severe chronic neurological disorder affects a small proportion of the population – around 1% – it is one of the most disabling conditions, especially if left untreated. Schizophrenia carries a substantial disease burden; people with the disorder face increased risks of premature mortality, suicide, and physical illness.
While research has yet to identify a definitive cause of schizophrenia, many factors are thought to contribute to the development of schizophrenia, including genetics, environment, and neurological changes. Previous research implicates that estrogen may play a significant role in the condition’s progression, with a prior randomized controlled trial revealing symptom improvement in premenopausal female patients treated with transdermal estradiol. These initial positive findings have not been replicated by other studies, including ones without commercial involvement.