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Sex Differences in the BrainFrom Genes to Behavior$
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Jill B. Becker, Karen J. Berkley, Nori Geary, Elizabeth Hampson, James P. Herman, and Elizabeth Young

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311587

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311587.001.0001

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Sex Differences in Pharmacogenomics as a Tool to Study CNS Disorders

Sex Differences in Pharmacogenomics as a Tool to Study CNS Disorders

Chapter:
(p.79) Chapter 5 Sex Differences in Pharmacogenomics as a Tool to Study CNS Disorders
Source:
Sex Differences in the Brain
Author(s):

Julia Pinsonneault

Wolfgang Sadée

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311587.003.0005

This chapter reviews current trends in the understanding of the genetics of central nervous system (CNS) disorders and how sex differences impinge on outcomes, or can serve to study the underlying causes of disease. It shows that estrogens appear to play a prominent role, primarily as a protective agent in the case of schizophrenia and depression. Even in depression where women are more strongly affected than men, this may be due to a precipitous drop in estrogens, such as happens after delivering a baby or premenstrually. Yet, hormonal levels are but one of the multiple genomic differences between males and females. The chapter points out the overriding need to consider sex in understanding the disease and optimizing its therapy, but it also highlights the complexity of genomic factors in multigenic disease and therapy.

Keywords:   hormonal levels, central nervous system disorders, schizophrenia, depression, estrogen

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