Gender-related protection from or vulnerability to severe CNS diseases: Gonado-structural and/or gonado-activational? A meta-analysis of relevant epidemiological studies

  • Braun C
  • Roberge C
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Abstract

Background: A vast scientific literature has dealt with gender-specific risk for brain disorder. That field is evolving toward a consensus to the effect that the estrogen hormone family is outstandingly and uniquely neuroprotective. However, the epidemiology relevant to this general outlook remains piecemeal. Method: The present investigation strategically formats the relevant epidemiological findings around the world in order to quantitatively meta-analyze gender ratio of risk for a variety of relevant severe central nervous system (CNS) diseases at all three gonadal stages of the life cycle, pre pubertal, post adolescent/pre menopausal, and post menopausal. Results: The data quantitatively establish that (1) no single epidemiological study should be cited as evidence of gender-specific neuroprotection against the most common severe CNS diseases because the gender-specific risk ratios are contradictory from one study to the other; (2) risk for severe CNS disease is indeed significantly gender-specific, but either gender can be protected: it depends on the disease, not at all on the age bracket. Conclusion: Our assay of gender-specific risk for severe brain disease around the world has not been able to support the idea according to which any one gender-prevalent gonadal steroid hormone dominates as a neuroprotective agent at natural concentrations. © 2014.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Activational
  • Gender
  • Gonadal
  • Mediation
  • Menopausal
  • Neuroprotection

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Authors

  • Claude M.J. Braun

  • Carl Roberge

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