Studies suggesting a protective effect of estrogen in neurodegenerative diseases prompted us to investigate this relationship in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).


This case-control study evaluated the self-reported reproductive characteristics and estrogen of 150 women with PSP and 150 age-matched female controls who participated in the Environmental Genetic-PSP study. Conditional logistic regression models were generated to examine associations of PSP with estrogen.


There was no association between years of estrogen exposure duration and PSP. There was a suggestion of an inverse association between composite estrogen score and PSP that did not reach statistical significance (P = .06). Any exposure to estrogen replacement therapy halved the risk of PSP (odds ratio = 0.52; 95% confidence interval = 0.30-0.92; P = .03). Among PSP cases, earlier age at menarche was associated with better performance on Hoehn and Yahr stage (β = −0.60; SE = 0.26; P = .02) and Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale II score (β = −5.19; SE = 2.48; P = .04) at clinical examination.


This case-control study suggests a protective role of lifetime estrogen exposure in PSP. Future studies will be needed to confirm this association. © 2018 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society


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