The psychotherapeutic effects of estrogens

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The effect of estrogens on the central nervous system,

particularly mood and behavior, remains a controversial area

which needs clarification, not just for understanding of

depression in women but to ensure that such commonplace

problems in women have efficient and appropriate therapy.

There is now good evidence that estrogens are rapidly

effective in the treatment of depression in many women but

this information has not found its way through to those health

care personnel, psychiatrists and psychologists who are

principally involved in the treatment of depression. There is

also strong evidence for the benefits of estrogens on

cognitive functioning, not only in preventing the onset of

dementia but also in improving the symptoms in the established

condition. Recent work has also suggested a benefit for

estrogens on mood in women diagnosed as suffering from chronic

fatigue syndrome. This article reviews the effect of

endogenous estrogen on the female central nervous system and

the ever increasing evidence for the diverse psychotherapeutic

effects of exogenous estrogens.

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