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C. Estrogen's Effects On The Brain

Narrator: This is Science Today. The hormone estrogen has recently been suggested to have an effect on Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Gary Small, director of UCLA's Center on Aging and a professor of psychiatry says estrogen seems to increase memory in patients who already have Alzheimer's.

Small: In addition to that, there are epidemiological observational studies where it seems that women who take estrogen have a lower risk for developing Alzheimer's Disease.

Narrator: UCLA is currently involved in a multi-site study on estrogen's effects on the brain, including it's seeming role as an anti-depressant.

Small: I think it's an exciting time to be looking at estrogen effects on the brain. There's greater recognition of some of the mental problems affecting women as they age and certainly depression and cognitive impairment are the major problems that older women face and estrogen may help them deal with some of these problems.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.