|Comment by Gemma Casadesus, George Perry, Kathryn Bryan, Mark A. Smith
Estrogen and Alzheimer Disease: Is It Really All in the Timing?
There is a wealth of evidence, including this latest study, suggesting the involvement of sex steroids in the etiology of Alzheimer disease (AD) (reviewed in Manly et al., 2000; Casadesus et al., 2004; Casadesus et al., 2005) and data indicating a positive effect of hormone replacement therapy (HRT, Henderson et al., 1994; Kawas et al., 1997).
However, contradicting findings from the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study, reporting negative cognitive effects following HRT in women at an AD-vulnerable age (Henderson et al., 2003; Rapp et al., 2003; Shumaker et al., 2003; Almeida et al., 2006) have caused complete havoc in the estrogen research field and cast serious doubt on the role of sex steroid hormones in age-related cognitive decline, neuronal dysfunction, and AD etiology. One key issue that these seemingly opposing studies lead to is the importance of the timing of estrogen treatment. However, other alternative...