Differential Actions of Estrogens in the Male and Female Brain: A Case for Sex-Specific Medicines

Glenda E. Gillies

in Brain Aromatase, Estrogens, and Behavior

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841196
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979837 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Series in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology

Differential Actions of Estrogens in the Male and Female Brain: A Case for Sex-Specific Medicines

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Estrogens are ubiquitous hormones that are now known to have profound effects in the brain of both males and females across species. Available clinical and preclinical data indicate the potential for estrogens and nonfeminizing estrogens mimics to have neurotrophic, neuroprotective, and psychoprotective effects that hold promise for the treatment of brain disorders that affect men as well as women. This chapter develops the argument that sexually dimorphic responses to estrogens in the intact or diseased brain arise to a large extent from sex differences in the organization of the underlying circuitry, and it also addresses the the relative contributions of systemically and centrally generated estrogens to brain function in both normal and disrupted states. Advancement of our understanding of these factors are of prime importance if we are to realize the full translational potential of manipulating brain estrogenic activity for promoting human mental health and well-being, which current studies predict will require a sex-specific approach.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; aromatase; brain; estrogens; neurosteroids; Parkinson’s disease; sex differences; sex-specific medicines; systemic sex steroids

Chapter.  12156 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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