Estrogen Keeps Your Dopamine Producing Neurons Alive

I love my dopamine producing neurons. And yet, I consider myself a manly man at heart. It comes as difficult to accept, then, that estrogen keeps dopamine producing neurons alive. This study was done on females, however…

“Without estrogen, more than 30 percent of all the dopamine neurons disappeared in a major area of the brain that produces the neurotransmitter, dopamine, ” Redmond said. “This finding is consistent with a lot of observations for which there has been, until now, no explanation. The results of the study shed light on why men, who have less estrogen in their bodies and more androgen to antagonize it, are more likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease than pre-menopausal women, and why post menopausal women are more likely then to develop the disease.”

The discovery was made after the researchers removed the ovaries of female monkeys, thereby depleting their bodies of estrogen and other gonadal hormones. Within 10 days, key neurons in the brain that protect against Parkinson’s Disease disappeared. (Source: Eurekalert)

Estrogen is a “gonadal” hormone. Awesome. I get the last laugh, estrogen.

5 thoughts on “Estrogen Keeps Your Dopamine Producing Neurons Alive

  1. I didn’t know that — I mean about estrogen and dopamine, not about your gonadal anxiety. ;)

    As a woman, I find this really alarming. Since dopamine is also important for learning, excitement and feeling rewarded, I hate to think of my receptors for it dwindling away.

    Estrogen is also neuro-protective, and women with reduced estrogen due to menopause or ovarectomy show reduced cognitive ability. It’s an ugly part of growing older for women that nobody is talking about.

  2. I am on Tamoxifen for post breast cancer treatment which effectively erradicates estrogen in the body. I have been thinking about the relationship between my new lack of estrogen and a certain flat line affect that has developed. This has led me to thoughts about the relationship between dopamine and estrogen. Personally I believe there is an effect on the pleasures of life bc of less dopamine. Has anyone heard of this, especially as it relates to Tamoxifen or other estrogen inhibitors?

  3. The relation to estrogen, tamoxifen, and dopamine may be important. When I wrote this post I specifically had tamoxifen in mind. Maybe you should bring this up with your doctor.

  4. i have also heard of relation between dopamine and SRY gene (sex determining region Y gene) which helps in male sex determination and present in male only.
    SRY inhibits the level of dopamine…so male are more likely to have dopamine related diseases…

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