PREMATURE GRAYING OF HAIR IN PATIENTS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA SPECTRUM DISORDER: AN INCIDENTAL FINDING OR AN ASSOCIATION? A CASE SERIES.

Authors

  • Shikha Agarwal Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Shri Ram Murti Smarak Institute of Medical Sciences, Bareilly, India,
  • Narveer Yadav  Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Badaun, India,
  • Aarti Yadav Senior Resident, Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Leprosy, Government Medical College, Badaun, India
  • Deepak Charan Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Shri Ram Murti Smarak Institute of Medical Sciences, Bareilly, India
  • Akash Srivastava Junior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, Shri Ram Murti Smarak Institute of Medical Sciences, Bareilly, India,

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51168/sjhrafrica.v5i6.1229

Keywords:

Oxidative stress, premature graying of hairs, schizophrenia, psychosis

Abstract

Background

Healthy hair is a sign of general well-being and youth, serving as an aesthetic tool and means of nonverbal communication. Premature graying of hair (PGH) is perceived as a sign of aging driven by oxidative stress, a cytotoxic effect of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on follicular melanocytes. This study reports a few cases of premature graying of hair in young individuals with behavioral disturbances suggestive of schizophrenia spectrum disorder.

Methodology

This case series involved 14 subjects aged 18 to 25 years, diagnosed with premature graying of hair by dermatologists, excluding other cutaneous and systemic causes. The subjects exhibited symptoms indicative of schizophrenia spectrum disorder. Detailed clinical evaluations and histories were collected, including family psychiatric history, substance use, and duration of behavioral changes.

Result

Social withdrawal and severe psychotic symptoms such as self-isolation, excessive rumination, suspiciousness, hostility, unprovoked anger, and auditory hallucinations created socio-occupational dysfunction. Behavioral problems may precede or follow PGH. An intricate link exists between oxidative stress and schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Genetic risk factors and substance use were involved in several cases. Hereditary and environmental factors contribute to psychiatric disorders and tobacco and cannabis use in families. Schizophrenia and premature hair greying are linked to oxidative stress, suggesting it may unify pathogenesis and early therapies.

Conclusion

Oxidative stress appears to be a central factor linking premature graying of hair and schizophrenia. The findings suggest that premature graying may be an early indicator of schizophrenia, warranting further investigation and early intervention strategies.

Recommendations

Premature graying of hair should be considered a red flag for early schizophrenia intervention. Further studies are needed to explore oxidative stress markers and their potential use in the early detection and intervention of schizophrenia. Enhancing antioxidant defenses may be a novel approach to managing high-risk individuals.

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Published

2024-06-30

How to Cite

Agarwal, S. ., Yadav, N. ., Yadav, A. ., Charan, D. ., & Srivastava, A. . (2024). PREMATURE GRAYING OF HAIR IN PATIENTS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA SPECTRUM DISORDER: AN INCIDENTAL FINDING OR AN ASSOCIATION? A CASE SERIES. Student’s Journal of Health Research Africa, 5(6), 8. https://doi.org/10.51168/sjhrafrica.v5i6.1229

Issue

Section

Section of Mental Health and Psychiatry