Guarding the blood-brain barrier: a role for estrogen in the etiology of neurodegenerative disease.
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Although the effect of estrogen replacement therapy on the incidence of the neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's disease is controversial, experimental studies indicate that estrogen replacement to young adult animals is neuroprotective and that perimenopausal estrogen replacement is associated with a decreased incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Estrogen affects a wide variety of cellular processes that can protect neuronal health. This article considers the disruption of the blood-brain barrier in Alzheimer's disease and forwards the hypothesis that estrogen may preserve neural health by maintaining the integrity of the blood-brain barrier.
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