Animal Study Found Puberty Blockers May Cause Depression — Decades After Doctors Began Administering To Children

Animal Study Found Puberty Blockers May Cause Depression — Decades After Doctors Began Administering To Children


A 2020 study was the first of its kind to use an animal model to examine the potential neurological and psychiatric effects of puberty-blocking drugs — 22 years after doctors began prescribing them to gender dysphoric adolescents on an experimental basis.

The results found that treatment with leuprolide, the drug used to suppress puberty, had “profound effects” of increased depression in female mice; in male mice, increased stress and a loss of interest in female mice were reported. 

“Our behavioral and neurobiological characterization reveals for the first time that chronic leuprolide treatment, starting after the onset of puberty, exerts sex-specific effects on social preference, despair-like behavior and hyponeophagia, neuroendocrine responses to mild stress, and hyperactivity of the [dentate gyrus], a crucial neurobiological regulator of stress responses

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