Novel perspectives for progesterone in hormone replacement therapy, with special reference to the nervous system.

Authors: Schumacher M, Guennoun R, Ghoumari A, Massaad C, Robert F, El-Etr M, Akwa Y, Rajkowski K, Baulieu EE.

Publication Year: 2007

Citation: Endocr Rev. 2007;28(4):387-439.

The authors describe in detail the neuroprotective effects of progesterone when used in postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy.  They emphasize that natural progesterone has very different properties than synthetic progestins. Medroxyprogesterone acetate actually inhibits the beneficial effects of estradiol on the nervous system and also exerts damaging effects, whereas progesterone does neither.  Progesterone is known to have neuroprotective, neurotrophic, and promyelinating effects.