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In Vivo Effects of Estrogen on Human Brain

Authors

  • WILLIAM J. CUTTER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Section of Brain Maturation, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK
      Address for correspondence: William J. Cutter, Clinical Research Worker, Box P050, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, UK. Voice: +44 (0)20 7848 0364; fax: +44 (0)20 7848 0650. sppmwjc@iop.kcl.ac.uk
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  • MICHAEL CRAIG,

    1. Section of Brain Maturation, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK
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  • RAY NORBURY,

    1. Section of Brain Maturation, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK
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  • DENE M. ROBERTSON,

    1. Section of Brain Maturation, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK
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  • MALCOLM WHITEHEAD,

    1. Menopause Clinic, King's College Medical School, 100 Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK
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  • DECLAN G. MURPHY

    1. Section of Brain Maturation, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK
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Address for correspondence: William J. Cutter, Clinical Research Worker, Box P050, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, UK. Voice: +44 (0)20 7848 0364; fax: +44 (0)20 7848 0650. sppmwjc@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Abstract: Age-related brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) are becoming increasingly prevalent. Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) has shown potential both as a preventive measure and treatment for such disorders. Good evidence from basic science demonstrates that estrogen has multiple protective effects on neurons and neurotransmitter systems, and the effects of ERT can be demonstrated on the human brain using techniques such as functional neuroimaging. However, the evidence for estrogen's having a clinical role in the treatment and prevention of neuropsychiatric disorders is not well established. In this article we review research into the effects of estrogen on the human brain and we consider the role for ERT as a therapeutic tool.

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