J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  1999 Dec;3(2):129-139.

Neurobiology of Depression in Women

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kosin University, School of Medicine, Korea.


The important role that gonadal hormones play in women's life is also manifested in regulation of mood and behavior. Estrogen, in particular, has mostly positive effects on women's mood, while some periods of hormonal change like the postpartum, perimenstrual period and the perimenopause are associated with increased risk of depression. The propensity of women to develop depression seems to be due to a combined effect of genetics, gonadal hormones, and psychosocial factors. The sex difference of neuroanatomical response to mood, and changes in modulation of monoamine neurotransmitters by gonadal hormones, also seemed to be a risk factor to increase the vulnerability to depression in women.


Premenstrual dysphoric disorder; Postpartum depression; Menopausal syndrome; Limbic system; Estrogen; Serotonin
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