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Hormones and Brain Plasticity$
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Luis Miguel García-Segura

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326611

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326611.001.0001

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Life Stages, Hormones, and Brain Remodeling: Aging

Life Stages, Hormones, and Brain Remodeling: Aging

(p.275) Chapter 10 Life Stages, Hormones, and Brain Remodeling: Aging
Hormones and Brain Plasticity

Luis Miguel García-Segura

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the changes in brain plasticity and endocrine function with aging. It discusses whether the decrease in plasma levels of several hormones that occur with aging represents a positive adaptation to the new physiological conditions of the aged individual or, on the contrary, represents a genuine deficit, negatively impacting brain function. The paradox that exists—the signaling of some hormones (growth hormone, IGF-I) is neuroprotective, yet at the same time it reduces longevity—is discussed. How hormonal deprivation with aging affects the brain is considered. Studies dealing with the effects of hormonal therapies (gonadal hormones, DHEA, growth hormone, melatonin, and so forth) on the plasticity and function of the aging brain, including the human brain are reviewed.

Keywords:   brain plasticity, endocrine function, brain mutability, brain aging

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