Sex-specific therapeutic strategies based on neuroactive steroids: In search for innovative tools for neuroprotection

Horm Behav. 2010 Jan;57(1):2-11. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.06.001. Epub 2009 Jun 12.


Different pathologies of the central and peripheral nervous system show sex differences in their incidence, symptomatology and/or neurodegenerative outcome. These include Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, stroke, autism, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and peripheral neuropathy. These sex differences reveal the need for sex-specific neuroprotective strategies. This review article and other manuscripts published in this issue of Hormones and Behavior analyze possible sex-specific therapeutic strategies based on neuroactive steroids. In particular in our introductory article, the possibility that sex differences in the levels or in the action of neuroactive steroids may represent causative factors for sex differences in the incidence or manifestation of pathologies of the nervous system is considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / metabolism
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism*
  • Mental Disorders / pathology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Steroids / metabolism*
  • Steroids / therapeutic use


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Steroids