Multiple sclerosis at menopause: Potential neuroprotective effects of estrogen

Mindy S. Christianson, Virginia A. Mensah, Wen Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune demyelinating and neurodegenerative condition of the central nervous system that preferentially afflicts women more than men. Low estrogen states such as menopause and the postpartum period favor exacerbations of multiple sclerosis in women with the disease. Existing and emerging evidence suggests a role for estrogen in the alleviation of symptoms and reversal of pathology associated with MS. While clinical evidence is sparse regarding the benefit of estrogen therapy for women at risk for MS exacerbations, scientific data demonstrates that estrogen potentiates numerous neuroprotective effects on the central nervous system (CNS). Estrogens play a wide range of roles involved in MS disease pathophysiology, including increasing antiinflammatory cytokines, decreasing demyelination, and enhancing oxidative and energy producing processes in CNS cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015


  • Estradiol
  • Estrogen
  • Hormone therapy
  • Menopause
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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