Skip Navigation

Mary Lou Voytko, PhD




State University of New York
Health Science Center at Syracuse, 1985


Normal aging in humans is frequently accompanied by declines in a variety of cognitive functions, including learning, memory and attention. Determining the neural basis of age-related cognitive changes and identifying therapeutic interventions to overcome these dysfunctions are the focus of research in my laboratory.

We are using behavioral, pharmacological, and neurobiological (functional imaging and immunocytochemistry) approaches to determine if reductions in cognitive function are related to alterations in particular brain systems in aged nonhuman primates. In particular, we are determining the extent to which estrogen and other interventional agents may enhance or protect cognitive and neurobiological function in nonhuman primate models of menopause.

Selected Publications

Rometo AM, Krajewski SJ, Voytko ML, Rance NE. Hypertrophy and increased kisspeptin gene expression in the hypothalamic infundibular nucleus of postmenopausal women and ovariectomized monkeys. J. Clin. Endocrin. Metab. 2007; 92:2744-50.

Tinkler GP and Voytko ML. Estrogen modulates cognitive and cholinergic processes in surgically menopausal monkeys. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry 2005;29:423-431. 

Voytko ML and Tinkler GP. Cognitive function and its neural mechanisms in nonhuman primate models of aging, alzheimer's disease and menopause. In: Nonhuman Primate Models of Neuropsychopathology, Frontiers of Bioscience Special Edition, Taffee MA and Weed MR (eds). Front Biosci 2004;9:1899-1914.

Tinkler GP, Tobin JR, Voytko ML. Effects of  two years estrogen loss or replacement on nucleus basalis cholinergic neurons and cholinergic fibers to dorsolateral prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex of monkeys. J Comp Neurol, 2004;469:507-521.

Voytko, ML. Estrogen and the cholinergic system modulate visuospatial attention in monkeys. Behav. Neurosci., 2002:116:187-197.

Voytko ML, Mach RH, Ehrenkaufer RLE, Gage HD, Efange SMN, Tobin JR. Cholinergic activity of aged rhesus monkeys revealed by PET. Synapse, 2001;39:95-100.

Voytko ML. The effects of long-term ovariectomy and estrogen replacement therapy on learning and memory in monkeys. Behav. Neurosci., 2000;114:1078-1087.

Gage HD, Voytko ML, Ehrenkaufer RLE, Tobin JR, Efange SMN, Mach RH. Reproducibility of repeated measures of cholinergic terminal density using (18F)(+)-4-fluorobenzyltrozamicol and positron emission tomography in the rhesus monkey. J. Nucl. Med., 2000;41:2069-2076.

Quick Reference

Neurobiology & Anatomy

Phone 336-716-4368

Dr. Barry E. Stein

Dr. Barry E. Stein, Chairman
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Medical Center Boulevard
Winston-Salem, NC  27157-1010
Find A Doctor Ways to Give
Last Updated: 10-10-2016
Wake Forest Baptist Ranked among Nation’s ‘Best Hospitals’  25 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World ReportComprehensive Cancer Centers National Designation is Renewed2017-2018 Best DoctorsNursing Magnet StatusJoint Commission Report

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

© Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157. All Rights Reserved.