Physiological effects of steroids can be estimated reasonably well because it can reasonably be supposed that few if any potential users are going to have significant pre-existing medical problems. But when trying to evaluate mental effects, that supposition has no basis. As Darkes (see farther below) and many others have pointed out, one of the chief failings of many studies of steroids and psychiatry is the failure to design the studies so that the cause-and-effect relationship is not tangled. While there are, in some reports, evidences of some possible correlation of steroid use and mental problems, what few if any of those studies address is which is cause and which effect .
Neuroactive steroids are also called as neurosteroids . They are endogenous steroids that rapidly alter neuronal excitability through interaction with ligand-gated ion channels and other cell surface receptors. Neuroactive steroid refers to steroids that are synthesized by an endocrine gland that reach the brain through the bloodstream and have effects on brain function. Neurosteroids have a wide range of potential clinical applications from sedation to treatment of epilepsy and traumatic brain injury. Ganaxolone is a synthetic analog of the endogenous neurosteroid. Allopregnanolone is under investigation for the treatment of epilepsy.