, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 235–241

Estrogen action in mood and neurodegenerative disorders

Estrogenic compounds with selective properties — The next generation of therapeutics


  • Marie K. Österlund
    • Karo Bio AB, Novum
  • Michael-Robin Witt
    • Karo Bio AB, Novum
    • Department of Medical Nutrition and BiosciencesKarolinska Institutet

DOI: 10.1385/ENDO:28:3:235

Cite this article as:
Österlund, M.K., Witt, M. & Gustafsson, J. Endocr (2005) 28: 235. doi:10.1385/ENDO:28:3:235


In this review, estrogenic effects in depression, anxiety, and neurodegenerative disorders are summarized. Moreover, preclinical findings from in vitro and animal models are discussed. There is a correlation between decreased estrogen levels (e.g., premenstrually, during the postpartum period, and perimenopausally) and increased anxiety and depressive symptoms. Several studies show beneficial effects of estrogen treatment in women with anxiety and depressive symptoms. Recent data indicate that the estrogen receptor (ER) β appears to be a major mediator of estrogenic effects in depression and anxiety. Additionally, both preclinical and clinical findings suggest that activation of estrogen receptors have an important role in neuroprotective and neurodegenerative processes in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS).

Key Words

Estrogen receptordepressionanxietyAlzheimer’s diseaseneuroprotectionaffective disorders17β-estradiol
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© Humana Press Inc 2005