Progestogens influence cognitive processes in aging

Future Medicinal Chemistry
Cheryl A Frye

Abstract

Steroid hormones may alter mnemonic processes. The majority of investigations have focused on the effects of 17β-estradiol (E(2)) to mediate learning. However, progesterone (P(4)), which varies across endogenous hormonal milieu with E(2), may also have effects on cognitive processes. P(4) may have effects in the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex (PFC) and/or striatum to enhance cognitive performance. Cognitive performance/learning has been assessed using tasks that are mediated by the hippocampus (water maze), PFC (object recognition) and striatum (conditioning). Our findings suggest that progestogens can have pervasive effects to enhance cognitive performance and learning in tasks mediated by the hippocampus, PFC and striatum and that these effects may be in part independent of actions at intracellular progestin receptors. Progestogens may therefore influence cognitive processes.

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