Sex hormones and cognition in aging

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Abstract

Hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis that regulate reproductive function are also potent neurosteriods that have multiple effects on the development, maintenance and function of the brain. There is a growing body of evidence linking sex hormones to cognitive functioning across the lifespan. Both subjective and objective cognitive changes can occur with aging. For women, cognitive complains are commonly associated with the menopause transition—a time of significant hormone flux. Sex differences in neurodegenerative conditions associated with cognitive dysfunction, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, suggest a potential link between sex hormones and cognitive decline. Evidence for the effects of hormone therapy on cognition is growing, but remains inconclusive. This chapter provides an overview of sex hormones and cognition in association with healthy aging, including a focus on the menopause transition, as well as reviewing findings linking sex hormones to cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. An overview of hormone therapy and cognition is also provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHormones and Stem Cells
EditorsGerald Litwack
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherAcademic Press
Chapter19
Pages511-533
Number of pages23
Edition1st
ISBN (Print)9780323855488
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameVitamins and Hormones
PublisherAcademic Press
Volume115
ISSN (Print)0083-6729

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Estrogen
  • Hormone therapy
  • Menopause
  • Neurodegenerative conditions
  • Sex hormones

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