Can Estradiol Help in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease?
Your Brain Needs Estradiol
Estrogen receptor cells are prolific in the human brain. One particular form of estrogen, estradiol, plays a crucial role in keeping the brain performing at its peak. Past and current scientific research continues to provide us with strong evidence that this hormone is vital to proper brain function.1 It plays a role in the production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that influence mental states such as alertness, energy, mood, attention, motivation and pleasure, among others. Additionally, we know that estradiol positively influences blood flow to the brain. It both protects and supports the survival, development and function of neurons located there. Estradiol counteracts the damaging effects of free radicals and serves as an anti-inflammatory, shielding the brain from certain injuries and, to a large degree, prevents harm to artery walls.
Estradiol Protects the Brain
Estradiol’s neuroprotective role is of special interest these days in relationship to the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease – which is expected to triple by 2050.2 The prospective burden of this disease on our health care system and economy has sparked an upsurge in research centered on the positive estradiol effect on brain function and subsequent Alzheimer’s disease prevention.3
Amongst the significant findings thus far:
- A 2004 report shows that reduced estradiol in the menopausal brain also reduces the presence of a vital enzyme that helps dispose of beta-amyloid, a key issue in Alzheimer’s.4
- An observational study reported in 2005 found that estrogen replacement may preserve regional cerebral metabolism and protect against metabolic decline in postmenopausal women, especially in the region of the brain found to deteriorate in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.5
- A 2014 study showed evidence that estradiol prevented degeneration in vital brain regions in women at high risk of developing dementia.6
Here are the highlights from this research:
- Timing made a difference in outcome. They found that beginning estradiol treatment within a year of menopause and continuing this therapy preserved metabolic activity in brain areas associated with memory and decision-making.
- It also mattered what type of estradiol was used – specifically, whether it was 17β estradiol or Premarin being taken. Estradiol was found to preserve metabolic activity in a number of brain regions around the hippocampus crucial to information retention and executive function. Premarin, on the other hand, was discovered to be far less protective and actually accelerated metabolic decline in the brain regions under investigation.
- Adding a synthetic progesterone (progestin) likewise affected the outcome. When combined with estradiol, progestin eliminated the neurological benefit. Taking PremPro (Premarin plus progestin) hastened the decline in metabolic activity even further.
The Case for Proper Bioidentical Hormone Replacement
Current evidence is encouraging, but scientists agree that further research needs to be done to fully understand the role estradiol could play in Alzheimer’s prevention.
However, there are many other well-documented health benefits of estradiol. The need for physiologic blood levels of this important hormone never diminishes no matter what age a woman may be. Its positive influence on cardiovascular, brain, bone and other aspects of health make a convincing case for women to consider hormone replacement.
If you are age 40 or beyond, it’s a good time to have your hormone levels tested. It’s also a good idea to do some homework on hormone replacement. Science shows that side-effect laden synthetic HRT can put your health at risk. Bioidentical hormones, on the other, precisely match human hormones and perform in the same way when properly administered.
SottoPelle® BHRT Pellet Experts
SottoPelle® has specialized in BHRT using the pellet method longer than most. Our founder, Dr. Gino Tutera, developed the proprietary method that makes us a leader in our field. We have a long history of success when it comes to balancing hormones and helping people take control of their health. In fact, we are honored to say that, according to Ranking Arizona, an annual consumer publication by AZ Big Media, our patients have voted us Arizona’s #1 Hormone Therapy Clinic for two years in a row.
Call Us Today!
Consulting with an expert in SottoPelle’s science-based BHRT can go a long way in providing a healthier future for you. Learn more about SottoPelle® at www.sottopelletherapy.com and then give us a call at (877) 473-5538 to schedule a consultation.
1McArthur S, Gillies GE. Estrogen Actions in the Brain and the Basis for Differential Action in Men and Women: A Case for Sex-Specific Medicines. Pharmacol Rev 2010 Jun;62(2): 155-198. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2879914/
2 Brookmeyer R, Johnson E, Ziegler-Graham K, Arrighi HM. Forecasting the global burden of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2007 Jul;3(3):186-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2007.04.381. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19595937
3Whitney Wharton, Carey E. Gleason, Katelin R. Lorenze, Tamara S. Markgraf, Michele L. Ries, Cynthia M. Carlsson, and Sanjay Asthana. Potential role of estrogen in the pathobiology and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Am J Transl Res. 2009; 1(2): 131–147. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2776312/
4 Zhao L, Teter B, Morihara T, Lim GP, Ambegaokar SS, Ubeda OJ, Frautschy SA, Cole GM. Insulin-degrading enzyme as a downstream target of insulin receptor signaling cascade: implications for Alzheimer’s disease intervention. J Neurosci. 2004 Dec 8;24(49):11120-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15590928
5 Rasgon NL, Silverman D, Siddarth P, Miller K, Ercoli LM, Elman S, Lavretsky H, Huang SC, Phelps ME, Small GW. Estrogen use and brain metabolic change in postmenopausal women. Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Feb;26(2):229-35. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15582750
6 Natalie L. Rasgon, Cheri L. Geist, Heather A. Kenna, Tonita E. Wroolie, Katherine E. Williams, Daniel H. S. Silverman. Prospective Randomized Trial to Assess Effects of Continuing Hormone Therapy on Cerebral Function in Postmenopausal Women at Risk for Dementia. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (3): e89095. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24622517