Pineal calcification plays a role in relation to menopause in schizophrenia. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Pineal calcification in relation to menopause in schizophrenia.
Int J Neurosci. 1992 Nov-Dec;67(1-4):1-8. PMID: 1305625
Department of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.
I have suggested that critical changes in melatonin secretion, as mediated by the pineal gland, may exert a crucial role in the onset and pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Since pineal calcification (PC) is thought to reflect the metabolic and secretory activity of the gland, I investigated in 29 randomly selected chronic institutionalized female schizophrenic patients the association of PC on CT scan with premenopausal (prior to age 40) versus menopausal (ages 40-55) onset of illness. The premenopausal patients were found to show a significantly higher prevalence of PC than the menopausal patients (55.5% vs. 18.1%; X2 = 3.93, df = 1, p<.05). Since PC was unrelated to historical, demographic, and treatment variables, these findings highlight the importance of the pineal gland for the timing of the onset of schizophrenia, particularly in relation to the female reproductive state. The results carry theoretical implications on the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and suggest that the pineal gland may exert a protective effect against its onset.