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Neuropsychobiology. 2005;52(1):17-23. Epub 2005 Jun 3.

Investigating the effects of estradiol or estradiol/progesterone treatment on mood, depressive symptoms, menopausal symptoms and subjective sleep quality in older healthy hysterectomized women: a questionnaire study.

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  • 1Institute of Experimental Psychology, University of Dusseldorf, Germany.


Clinical studies have documented that estrogen treatment often ameliorates mood disturbances and depressive symptoms occurring during the menopausal transition. The relevance of gonadal hormones for mood and well-being in healthy older nondepressed women is less well understood. Fifty-one healthy hysterectomized women (mean age 64) participated in a placebo-controlled double-blind study on the effects of gonadal hormones on cognition. They received either estradiol (2 mg estradiol valerate), estradiol plus progesterone (100 mg micronized progesterone) or placebo. Mood, well being, menopausal symptoms, depressive symptoms and subjective sleep quality were measured at baseline and after 4 and 24 weeks of treatment using three questionnaires. Thirty-five women could be included into the final analysis. Strong increases in estradiol and progesterone levels occurred in response to the treatment. The two hormones, however, had no effects on mood, well-being, menopausal symptoms, sleep quality and depressive symptoms. The current small study suggests that older healthy nondepressed hysterectomized women do not react with positive or negative mood changes to estradiol or estradiol/progesterone treatment.

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