Role of oestrogen in the central regulation of ...

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Title Role of oestrogen in the central regulation of autonomic function
Author(s) Tarek M. Saleh, BJ Connell
Journal Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Date 2007
Volume 34
Issue 9
Start page 827
End page 832
Abstract SUMMARY 1. In recent years, the role of oestrogen in women's health has been a subject of considerable scientific and popular debate. There is unquestionable evidence that oestrogen has both potent and long-lasting effects on several vital organ systems, including the cardiovascular system, the autonomic nervous system and, most recently, within the central nervous system itself. 2. The research and medical community continues to debate whether the benefits of oestrogen therapy outweigh the risks in the treatment of the symptoms of menopause, the attenuation of the risk for cardiovascular insults, such as stroke and heart disease, and even the retardation of the progression of Alzheimer's disease. 3. The recent evidence provided by the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) II clinical trial suggesting that long-term exposure to combined oestrogen and progestin in post-menopausal women who have previously had a heart attack or stroke (for secondary prevention) may actually increase their risk of a subsequent cardiovascular insult has further fuelled the debate. However, there remain considerable gaps in our knowledge with respect to the actual mechanisms by which oestrogen exerts its various beneficial effects at the cellular level for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. This information is essential if we are to harness the positive aspects of oestrogen therapy in such a manner as to avoid or minimize the associated risks of increased oestrogen exposure in women who we know, with some certainty, to be at an increased risk of cancers of the uterus, cervix and breast tissue.
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1681.2007.04663.x

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