, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 235-241

First online:

Estrogen action in mood and neurodegenerative disorders

Estrogenic compounds with selective properties — The next generation of therapeutics
  • Marie K. ÖsterlundAffiliated withKaro Bio AB, Novum
  • , Michael-Robin WittAffiliated withKaro Bio AB, Novum
  • , Jan-Åke GustafssonAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Nutrition and Biosciences, Karolinska Institutet Email author 

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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 receptor depression anxiety Alzheimer’s disease neuroprotection affective disorders 17β-estradiol