Patients with impaired mood and wellbeing

Consistent with the effects of DHEA on mood andwellbeing in patients with adrenal insufficiency beneficial effects were also observed in randomizeddouble-blind studies in patients with major depression (Wolkowitz etal. 1999) and midlife dysthymia (Bloch et al. 1999). DHEA also improved scores on an ADL scale in patients with myotonic dystrophy (Sugino et al. 1998). Reiter et al. (1999) have reported an improvement in erectile function, sexual satisfaction and orgasmic function in 4060 year old men suffering from erectile dysfunction and receiving 50 mg DHEA/day for six months in a randomized double-blind fashion. To compare the efficacy of DHEA vs. placebo in Alzheimer disease 58 patients were randomized to six months of treatment with DHEA (100 mg/day) or placebo. A transient effect on cognitive performance narrowly missed significance (Wolkowitz et al. 2003), possibly because of the small patient sample. Recently Strous et al. (2003) have studied the efficacy of DHEA (100 mg/day) in schizophrenic patients with prominent negative symptoms. In a double-blind trial a significant improvement in negative symptoms (p < 0.001), as well as in depressive (p < 0.05) and anxiety (p < 0.001) symptoms was seen in individuals receiving DHEA.

It seems noteworthy that the pattern of improvement observed in these trials closely resembled the changes observed in patients with adrenal insufficiency.

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