Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Sex hormones, aging, and Alzheimer's disease
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A promising strategy to delay and perhaps prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is to identify the agerelated changes that put the brain at risk for the disease. A significant normal age change known to result in tissuespecific dysfunction is the depletion of sex hormones. In women, menopause results in a relatively rapid loss of estradiol and progesterone. In men, aging is associated with a comparatively gradual yet significant decrease in testosterone. We review a broad literature that indicates age-related losses of estrogens in women and testosterone in men are risk factors for AD. Both estrogens and androgens exert a wide range of protective actions that improve multiple aspects of neural health, suggesting that hormone therapies have the potential to combat AD pathogenesis. However, translation of experimental findings into effective therapies has proven challenging. One emerging treatment option is the development of novel hormone mimetics termed selective estrogen and androgen receptor modulators. Continued research of sex hormones and their roles in the aging brain is expected to yield valuable approaches to reducing the risk of AD.