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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2002 Jun;3(6):433-42.

Oestrogen as a neuroprotective hormone.

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Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, 80804 Munich, Germany.


In addition to its role as a sex hormone, oestrogen affects the structure and function of the nervous system. Oestrogen receptors are expressed in brain regions that are involved in sex differentiation and maturation. But in addition to its well-known effects, oestrogen also has important neuroprotective actions that are both dependent and independent of a nuclear oestrogen-receptor activity. Furthermore, oestrogen can interact with neuroprotective intracellular signalling pathways and is itself a neuroprotective antioxidant. Understanding the mechanisms of oestrogen action will be crucial to determine its potential as a therapeutic agent, particularly in the elderly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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