Neuroendocrinology of ageing

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Many common problems encountered in the ageing patient can be related to neuroendocrine phenomena. These include Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive dysfunction, depression, Parkinson's disease, hyponatraemia and the postmenopausal increase in both vascular risk and osteoporosis. This review concentrates on the hypothalamic neuroendocrine system, including the dopaminergic, noradrenergic, serotoninergic, cholinergic and neurohypophyseal systems and the roles of the anterior pituitary and monoamine oxidases, luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone, corticotrophin-releasing factor, the pro-opiomelanocortin-derived and opioid peptides, peptides involved in growth hormone and thyrotropin regulation, and amino acid transmitters.

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