Reproductive aging of females: Neural systems

R. D. Brinton, A. C. Gore, P. J. Schmidt, J. H. Morrison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


Although reproductive senescence is defined by oocyte depletion, reproductive aging results from the complex interplay of age-dependent endocrine changes and the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. In women, the transition from a reproductive life stage to postmenopausal life stage is a dynamic process that occurs in stages that have both discrete endocrine events and variable parameters. The contributions from basic neuroscience in cells and animal models and from clinical trials of hormone therapy during menopause have dramatically enhanced the current understanding of reproductive aging in the brain. Here, the state of research of reproductive aging in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex as well as the current understanding of hormone therapy are described with regard to the brain, cognition, and mood function throughout the menopause transition. As the worldwide population ages and more than 1.2 billion women become 50 years old or older in 2030, understanding of the complexity of these hormone-brain circuits and translating those insights into healthy aging strategies will become ever more critical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHormones, Brain and Behavior Online
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780080887838
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Estrogen/hormone therapy
  • Menopause
  • Perimenopause
  • Signaling cascades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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