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The Effects of Estrogen on Brain Function

edited by Natalie L. Rasgon, M.D., Ph.D.

Publication Year: 2006

This timely volume reviews current data on the effects of estrogen on the central nervous system, highlighting clinical aspects of this topic. Experts from the fields of psychiatry, pharmacology, neurology, and geriatrics collaborate to clarify the known risks and benefits of hormone therapy and explore questions that remain to be elucidated. Among the topics discussed: " Preclinical data on estrogen's effects on cognitive performance " The short-lived effects of hormone replacement therapy on cognitive function " Structural and functional brain imaging data regarding estrogen's effects on the central nervous system " Preclinical efforts to develop effective NeuroSERMs for the brain " The effects of estrogen on mood Citing the ongoing confusion over the risks and benefits of estrogen therapy, the contributors emphasize the need for additional research on medication, doses, preparations, methods of administration, alternative therapies, and supplements. This volume educates researchers, clinicians, and students on the current knowledge—including the effects of estrogen on mood, cognition, and brain metabolism—and provides guidelines for clinical practice and future research. Contributors: Roberta Diaz Brinton, Ph.D., University of Southern California; Cheri L. Geist, B.A., David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles; Robert B. Gibbs, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy; Eva Hogervorst, Ph.D., University of Loughborough and University of Oxford; Pauline M. Maki, Ph.D., Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of Illinois–Chicago; Peter J. Schmidt, M.D., National Institute of Mental Health; Daniel H. S. Silverman, M.D., Ph.D., David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles; Katherine E. Williams, M.D., Stanford University School of Medicine; Kristine Yaffe, M.D., University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco VA Medical Center; Laurel N. Zappert, B.A., Stanford University School of Medicine; Liqin Zhao, Ph.D., University of Southern California

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press


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List of Contributors

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-8

The use of hormone therapy (HT) has come under considerable scrutiny in recent years, and the implications of past and current HT research for women’s health are manifold. Currently, a woman can expect to live nearly one-third of her life in postmenopause, as the average life expectancy for women in the United States has increased to 82 years, while the average age of ...

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1 Preclinical Data Relating to Estrogen’s Effects on Cognitive Performance

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pp. 9-45

The use of gonadal hormone therapy (HT) in peri- and postmenopausal women has become a major public health issue. Within the last hundred years, the average life expectancy of women in the United States has risen beyond 82 years, whereas the average age at which women reach menopause has remained relatively constant at 51 years. In addition to more years of life ...

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2 The Short-Lived Effects of Hormone Therapy on Cognitive Function

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pp. 46-78

Dementia is characterized by severe memory and other cognitive deficits that interfere with daily life. Alzheimer disease (AD), the most prevalent type of dementia, is characterized by a slow and progressive decline (McKhann et al., 1984). Abundant evidence from in vitro and in vivo animal studies suggests that estrogens could act favorably on almost all mechanisms known to be ...

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3 Clinical Data from Structural and Functional Brain Imaging on Estrogen’s Effects in the Central Nervous System

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pp. 79-94

Until recently, little was known about the gender-associated effects of gonadal steroids on neuronal function and neurochemistry. Information about the effects of estrogen on the human brain has recently been provided by studies employing positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and ...

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4 Clinical Data on Estrogen’s Effects on Mood

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pp. 95-115

One of the most consistent and intriguing findings in affective disorders research is the increased prevalence of major depression in women. Women are twice as likely as men to have unipolar major depression. Since this increased rate of depression is cross-cultural and appears to begin at puberty and decline after menopause, researchers have questioned the role of gonadal ...

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5 Preclinical Efforts to Develop Effective NeuroSERMs for the Brain

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pp. 116-143

Neurodegenerative diseases are among the most devastating and costly age-associated maladies. Of the neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia, loss of independent living, and institutionalization (Brookmeyer et al., 1998; Fillit, 2000, 2002a; Whitehouse, 1997). AD can have a prolonged ...

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6 Basic and Clinical Data on the Effects of SERMs on Cognition

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pp. 144-164

At least 10 percent of persons over 65 years old and 50 percent of those over 85 have some form of cognitive impairment, ranging from mild deficits to dementia (Evans, 1990). Alzheimer disease (AD), the most common cause of dementia, is currently estimated to affect 4 million people in the United States and to cost $70 billion annually, but it is projected to affect vastly ...

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pp. 165-167

The long-term effects of available hormone treatments remain to be determined, as the field is still in the process of integrating the data. Evidence from basic research supports the neuroprotective effects of hormone therapy (HT) in the central nervous system, yet data in humans are less clear. Several issues regarding the use of hormones as neuroprotective agents have emerged from ...


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pp. 169-170

E-ISBN-13: 9780801888908
E-ISBN-10: 0801888905
Print-ISBN-13: 9780801882821
Print-ISBN-10: 0801882826

Page Count: 180
Illustrations: 4 halftones, 16 line drawings
Publication Year: 2006

OCLC Number: 232160470
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Effects of Estrogen on Brain Function

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Cognition disorders -- Endocrine aspects.
  • Estrogen -- Therapeutic use -- Complications.
  • Menopause -- Hormone therapy -- Complications.
  • Brain -- Effect of drugs on.
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