Brain's role in menopause to be studied

Feb 20, 2007

The U.S. National Institute on Aging is funding a five-year, $1.4 million research project to study how the brain might control the timing of menopause.

University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy researcher Andrea Gore will attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the brain's role in reproductive failure that might lead to the creation of new therapies.

"For too many years, the focus in menopause research has primarily been on the ovaries," Gore said. "Although there is no question that the ovaries are key to the menopausal process, it was puzzling that there was little interest in whether the brain may also have a role.

"After all," she added, "the brain drives reproductive function during the rest of the life cycle, including puberty and adulthood, and the brain is a target organ for the major ovarian hormone, estrogen."

She noted many menopausal complaints -- hot flashes, depression and memory issues -- that prompt women to seek treatment are neurological in origin.

Gore said her research will have clinical implications for postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and for identifying non-hormonal approaches to treating menopausal symptoms. There also are clinical implications for potentially expanding the reproductive lifespan.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Scientists 1 step closer to cell therapy for multiple sclerosis patients

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What songbirds can teach us about the brain

Feb 23, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Professor Sarah Woolley does research on males who mate for life and help out around the home. If you asked where these creatures can be found, she might direct your attention outdoors.

Recommended for you

Monitoring the rise and fall of the microbiome

7 hours ago

Trillions of bacteria live in each person's digestive tract. Scientists believe that some of these bacteria help digest food and stave off harmful infections, but their role in human health is not well understood.

Antioxidant biomaterial promotes healing

15 hours ago

When a foreign material like a medical device or surgical implant is put inside the human body, the body always responds. According to Northwestern University's Guillermo Ameer, most of the time, that response can be negative ...

Immune response may cause harm in brain injuries, disorders

17 hours ago

Could the body's own immune system play a role in memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction associated with conditions like chronic epilepsy, Alzheimer's dementia and concussions? Cleveland Clinic researchers believe so, ...

User comments : 0