Hormonal effects on the brain

Catherine S Woolley*, P. A. Schwartzkroin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Changes in seizure frequency over the course of the menstrual cycle (i.e., catamenial epilepsy) have long been documented. Ovarian steroid hormones have a number of important short- and long-term effects on the brain that may contribute to this phenomenon. In particular, estrogen induces structural and functional changes in hippocampal neurons which may contribute significantly to increasing seizure susceptibility. This article reviews the mechanisms of action of steroid hormones on the basis of findings in animal models, with particular emphasis on the effects of estrogen on the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Estradiol
  • Hippocampus
  • NMDA receptors
  • Progesterone
  • Seizures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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