Estradiol interacts with the cholinergic system to affect verbal memory in postmenopausal women: evidence for the critical period hypothesis.

Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont College of Medicine, 1 South Prospect St., Burlington, VT 05401, USA.
Hormones and Behavior (Impact Factor: 4.51). 02/2008; 53(1):159-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2007.09.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Estradiol has been shown to interact with the cholinergic system to affect cognition in postmenopausal women. This study further investigated the interaction of estradiol and cholinergic system functioning on verbal memory and attention in two groups of healthy younger (ages 50-62) and older (ages 70-81) postmenopausal women. Twenty-two postmenopausal women were randomly and blindly placed on 1 mg of 17-beta estradiol orally for 1 month then 2 mg for 2 months or matching placebo pills after which they participated in three anticholinergic challenge sessions when verbal memory and attention were assessed. Subjects were administered either the antimuscarinic drug scopolamine (SCOP), the antinicotinic drug mecamylamine (MECA), or placebo. After the first challenge phase, they were crossed over to the other hormone treatment for another 3 months and repeated the challenges. Results showed that estradiol pretreatment significantly attenuated the anticholinergic drug-induced impairments on a test of episodic memory (the Buschke Selective Reminding Task) for the younger group only, while estradiol treatment impaired performance of the older group. The results suggest that younger subjects may experience more cholinergic benefit from estradiol treatment than older subjects, supporting the concept of a critical period for postmenopausal estrogen use.

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    ABSTRACT: Chatys Żaneta, Bogacki Piotr, Gajos Agnieszka, Fąfara Alina, Damiza Agnieszka, Kujawski Sławomir, Oleksy Patrick, Zukow Walery. Role of estrogens in Alzheimer’s disease and stroke therapy in women = Rola estrogenów w leczeniu udaru i choroby Alzheimera u kobiet. Journal of Health Sciences. 2014;4(9):191-196. ISSN 1429-9623 / 2300-665X. Retrieved from DOI: 10.13140/2.1.2897.5367 The journal has had 5 points in Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Poland parametric evaluation. Part B item 1107. (17.12.2013). © The Author (s) 2014; This article is published with open access at Licensee Open Journal Systems of Radom University in Radom, Poland Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited. Conflict of interest: None declared. Received: 10.06.2014. Revised 07.08.2014. Accepted: 05.09.2014. Role of estrogens in Alzheimer’s disease and stroke therapy in women Rola estrogenów w leczeniu udaru i choroby Alzheimera u kobiet Żaneta Chatys1, Piotr Bogacki1, Agnieszka Gajos1, Alina Fąfara1, Agnieszka Damiza1, Sławomir Kujawski2, Patrick Oleksy1, Walery Zukow3 1Department and Clinic of Geriatrics, Nicolaus Copernicus University Collegium Medicum, Bydgoszcz, Poland 2Faculty of Humanities, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland 3Kazimierz Wielki University, Bydgoszcz, Poland Słowa klucze: choroba Alzheimera, udar mózgu, menopauza, mózg, hormony płciowe, starzenie się, estrogeny Key words: Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, menopause, brain, gonadal hormones, aging, estrogens Streszczenie Wstęp. Badania wykazały, że stosowanie estrogenów u kobiet w wieku około menopauzalnym i pomenopauzalnym ma działanie neuroprotekcyjne i może opóźnić rozwój choroby Alzheimera, zmniejszyć nasilenie objawów klinicznych w początkowej fazie tej choroby a także zmniejsza obszar uszkodzeń tkanki nerwowej w mózgu, które powstają w wyniku zamknięcia naczyń mózgowych a tym samym zmniejszyć nasilenie objawów poudarowych. Najlepsze działania udowodniono dla terapii substytucyjnych opartych na 17-β-estradiolu. Cel. Ukazanie działania estrogenów na rozwój choroby Alzheimera i wystąpienie udaru mózgu a także wykazanie korzyści ze stosowania terapii hormonalnych w leczeniu tych jednostek chorobowych. Materiał i metody. Analiza publikacji z baz: Polskiej Bibliografii Lekarskiej, PubMed, Medline, EBSCO, używając słów kluczowych: choroba Alzheimera, udar mózgu, menopauza, mózg, hormony płciowe, starzenie się, estrogeny. Wyniki. Przegląd danych sugeruje korzystne wyniki stosowania estrogenów, a w szczególności 17-β-estradiolu na funkcje poznawcze, zapamiętywanie i procesy uczenia się. Stosowanie estrogenów wpływa korzystnie na naczynia mózgowe zmniejszając w ten sposób ryzyko wystąpienia udaru mózgu. Konieczne są jednak dokładniejsze badania wśród populacji kobiet stosujących hormonalną terapię zastępczą. Wnioski. HTZ (HTZ- hormonalna terapia zastępcza) powinna być stosowana u wszystkich kobiet w okresie około menopauzalnym i pomenopauzalnym. Należy pamiętać o wykonywaniu badań przesiewowych u pacjentek narażonych na powikłania po stosowaniu HTZ. W celu zmniejszenia ryzyka powikłań pacjentkom należy zalecić także prawidłową dietę, odpowiednią aktywność fizyczną a także rezygnację z używek- palenia tytoniu i picia alkoholu. Stosowanie estrogenów u kobiet ma działanie neuroprotekcyjne przez co poprawia jakość życia i opóźnia czas wystąpienia chorób otępiennych i innych chorób wieku starczego w tym udaru mózgu. Abstract Introduction. It is proven the use of estrogens in peri- and post-menopausal women has the neuro-protective function and may delay the progress of Alzheimer disease (AD), reduce the intensity of symptoms in early stage of disease and also decrease the damaged area in the central nervous system (CNS). This damage is a result of blood vessel obturation of in the brain. Best effects were found to be with 17-β-estradiol based therapy. Purpose. Presenting the influence of estrogens on Alzheimer disease and stroke progress, and the benefits of hormonal therapy in treatment of these diseases. Materials and methods. Analysis of publications in PubMed, Medline, EBSCO and Poland Medical Bibliography databases, using keywords Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, menopause, brain, gonadal hormones, aging, estrogens Results. Collected data suggest beneficial influence of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), especially 17-β-estradiol, on cognitive functions and learning processes. Usage of estrogens has a positive influence on brain blood vessels decreasing the risk of stroke. However, further researches among the population of women using HRT are required. Conclusions. HRT should be used for every peri-menopausal and post-menopausal woman. Screening researches are necessary for women using HRT who are exposed to side effects of therapy. To decrease the risk of complications patients should eat properly, quit smoking and drinking alcohol and do physical activity. Estrogen therapy exerts neuroprotective effect, that improves life quality and delays dementia and other diseases characteristic for elder people, such as stroke.
    Journal of Health Sciences 09/2014; 4(9):191-196. DOI:10.13140/2.1.3245.1840

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