Manual Neurosteroids: A New Regulatory Function in the Nervous System (Contemporary Endocrinology)

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In addition, he will identify how these two neurosteroids are distributed in the brain and the factors that regulate their synthesis.

DHEA and pregnenolone are used today as over the counter medications and food supplements for enhancing the brain performance and prevent the onset of aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. More specifically, DHEA has been termed the "fountain of youth".

New Research In

Understanding the fundamental mechanisms of DHEA and pregnenolone formation in the brain is paramount to all further speculation and hypotheses about DHEA and pregnenolone and their role in normal and pathologic brain function. Role in the regulation of steroid and neurosteroid biosynthesis. Please report errors in award information by writing to: Conversion of parent steroids by the brain, as we have said, is now recognized as an essential process. Poletti et al focus on several important examples i. This is an up-to-date and readable account. One of the most interesting aspects of neurosteroids for neurologists and psychiatrists is the fact that they interact with classical receptors, including the GABA A receptor.

Lambert et al describe this, and Purdy and Paul add weight. Majewska, who has been prominent in this area as well, suggests direct relations between neurosteroids and brain function e.

Neurosteroids: A New Regulatory Function in the Nervous System

The theme is continued by Gibbs et al, who discuss interactions with glutamate receptors, and Bastianetto et al tackle the difficult topic of the somewhat mysterious sigma receptors, somehow involved in neurosteroid actions in the brain. If, by now, you still need convincing that these are molecules of extraordinary interest, read the chapter by McEwen, who brings much of the preceding discussion together in his account of the actions of estrogens on the brain.


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The theme of neurosteroids in pathology is continued by Garcia-Segura et al in an excellent chapter on the way that these steroids modulate brain plasticity both during development and after injury. The interaction between neurosteroids and receptors in the cell membrane, implicit in previous chapters, is explored in detail by Ramirez and Zheng; they focus on estrogens. This theme is further developed by Toran-Allerand, who tells us much, particularly about the interplay between estrogens and growth factors a second set of topical molecules in the brain.


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Lest we forget that all this has to have functional significance, Mayo et al focus on the behavioural actions of neurosteroids particularly on aggression and memory, 2 topics of immense importance , and Roberts, a pioneer in this area, continues the theme in his chapter. Is this the therapeutic future for these compounds?

NSF Award Search: Award# - Neurosteroids: Synthesis and Regulation

Finally, Rupprecht et al discuss the neuropharmacology of some neurosteroids, particularly DHEA, progesterone and pregnenolone. This book avoids most of the usual pitfalls of multiauthor volumes: Packed with digestible information, it fully justifies its title. Award Abstract Neurosteroids: ABSTRACT Papadopoulos The specific interactions of steroids with binding sites in the brain together with the rapid effects of various steroids on neuronal function has prompted the investigation of the steroidogenic potential of central nervous system structures.

Nervous system

Indeed recent evidence indicates that the brain could function as an independent endocrine organ similar to the steroid synthesizing organs of the body e. These steroids hormones produced by the brain are termed "neurosteroids". Neurosteroids, such as pregnenolone and DHEA dehyroepiandrosterone have been shown to control neuronal development, aging, communication, and regulate numerous neuroendocrine and behavioral functions, including learning and memory.

While there is strong evidence that pregnenolone is indeed synthesized by specific cells in the brain, there is little data on local synthesis of DHEA.