Effects of Estrogen Decline of Aging on the Mental Health of Women
Authors: (Miranda A. Farage and Kenneth W. Miller)
Abstract: Estrogen initiates or mediates an impressive array of biological functions, with receptors in a multitude of tissues and cell types. The presence of estrogen receptors throughout the brain—hypothalamus, pituitary, hippocampus, cerebral cortex, midbrain, and brainstem—implicates estrogen as an effector for multiple neurocognitive processes. Cumulative evidence has confirmed that gender resides in the nervous system as well as the reproductive system. Estrogens act on the central nervous system (CNS) at the genomic level and beyond, modulating neurotransmitter production and action, influencing electrical excitability and synaptic function, and changing the morphological features of neural elements involved in function.