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Postgrad Med. 2001 Mar;Spec No:11-6.

Effects of estrogen deficiency on brain function. Implications for the treatment of postmenopausal women.

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  • 1Older Adult Health Center, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 Euclid Ave, St Louis, MO 63108, USA.


A growing body of evidence suggests that postmenopausal estrogen deficiency accelerates brain aging and increases the risk of various neurodegenerative processes, including Alzheimer's disease. Recent preclinical and clinical studies have indicated that estrogen has positive effects on brain homeostasis by preserving neural plasticity and the neurotransmitter pathways involved in learning, memory, and balance. In this article, Dr Birge and his coauthors address the effects of estrogen on brain function and discuss their implications for the use of selective estrogen receptor modulators, particularly tamoxifen and raloxifene, in postmenopausal women.

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