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Expert Rev Neurother. 2007 Nov;7(11 Suppl):S81-91.

Neurobehavioral impact of menopause on mood.

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  • 1Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Psychiatry Women's Health Program, Oakland, CA, USA.


The menopausal transition is a time of risk for mood change ranging from distress to minor depression to major depressive disorder in a vulnerable subpopulation of women in the menopausal transition. Somatic symptoms have been implicated as a risk factor for mood problems, although these mood problems have also been shown to occur independently of somatic symptoms. Mood problems have been found to increase in those with a history of mood continuum disorders, but can also occur de novo as a consequence of the transition. Stress has been implicated in the etiology and the exacerbation of these mood problems. Estrogen and add-back testosterone have both been shown to positively affect mood and well-being. In most cases, the period of vulnerability to mood problems subsides when the woman's hormonal levels stabilize and she enters full menopause.

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