The pathophysiology of neurodegeneration in the central nervous system is complex and multifactorial in nature and yet to be fully understood. Broad-spectrum neuroprotective agents with multiple mechanisms of action rather than a single druggable target are, therefore, highly desirable. The main human estrogen, 17β-estradiol, can also be considered a neurosteroid as it forms de novo in the central nervous system, and it possesses beneficial effects against practically all critical contributors to neurodegeneration to collectively thwart both the initiation and the progression of neuronal cell death. This chapter details the main aspects of the hormone’s genomic and non-genomic actions important to protect the highly vulnerably neurons of the central nervous system, as well as translational efforts to successfully realize its powerful neuroprotective potential in clinical setting while ensuring both therapeutic safety and efficacy.
Part of the book: Sex Hormones in Neurodegenerative Processes and Diseases