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Int J Dev Neurosci. 2014 Nov;38:36-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2014.07.009. Epub 2014 Aug 7.

Gender-related protection from or vulnerability to severe CNS diseases: gonado-structural and/or gonado-activational? A meta-analysis of relevant epidemiological studies.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. Electronic address: braun.claude@uqam.ca.
2
Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A vast scientific literature has dealt with gender-specific risk for brain disorder. That field is evolving toward a consensus to the effect that the estrogen hormone family is outstandingly and uniquely neuroprotective. However, the epidemiology relevant to this general outlook remains piecemeal.

METHOD:

The present investigation strategically formats the relevant epidemiological findings around the world in order to quantitatively meta-analyze gender ratio of risk for a variety of relevant severe central nervous system (CNS) diseases at all three gonadal stages of the life cycle, pre pubertal, post adolescent/pre menopausal, and post menopausal.

RESULTS:

The data quantitatively establish that (1) no single epidemiological study should be cited as evidence of gender-specific neuroprotection against the most common severe CNS diseases because the gender-specific risk ratios are contradictory from one study to the other; (2) risk for severe CNS disease is indeed significantly gender-specific, but either gender can be protected: it depends on the disease, not at all on the age bracket.

CONCLUSION:

Our assay of gender-specific risk for severe brain disease around the world has not been able to support the idea according to which any one gender-prevalent gonadal steroid hormone dominates as a neuroprotective agent at natural concentrations.

KEYWORDS:

Activational; Gender; Gonadal; Mediation; Menopausal; Neuroprotection

PMID:
25109841
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2014.07.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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