Sex Hormones Affect Disease, Development, Aging

New research on sex hormones has lead scientists to discover new important differences between the brains of girls and boys.

University of Maryland School of Medicine physiologist Margaret McCarthy argues that boys suffer from more neurological disorders than girls. It is more likely for them to have cases of schizophrenia, autism, and dyslexia, while girls are apt to neurological illnesses later on in life such as major depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, or eating disorders.

The data gathered from the latest research on sex hormones has also given scientists new hope in developing methods to fend off aging and disease. Already, doctors have established that estrogen can protect older women against Alzheimer’s disease.

“These hormones – testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen – have profound effects on the brain and the brain is profoundly responsive,” said Douglas Meinecke of the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington.


AP - November 10, 1998

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