Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Estrogen Lifts Mood In Perimenopause

Date:
September 11, 2000
Source:
NIH/National Institute Of Mental Health
Summary:
Women who suffer depression as they enter the early stages of menopause (perimenopause) may find estrogen to be an alternative to traditional antidepressants, suggest National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) researchers.

Women who suffer depression as they enter the early stages of menopause (perimenopause) may find estrogen to be an alternative to traditional antidepressants, suggest National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) researchers. The efficacy of the female hormone was comparable to that usually reported with antidepressants in the first controlled study of its direct effects on mood in perimenopausal women meeting standardized criteria for depression. Drs. Peter Schmidt, David Rubinow of the NIMH Behavioral Endocrinology Branch, and colleagues, report on the findings of this preliminary study in the August 2000 American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Related Articles


Estrogen levels, body thermostats and mood often fluctuate in the perimenopause. But only a minority of women become clinically depressed. Although researchers had long suspected that estrogen might lift mood in such women, controlled studies were lacking. Additionally, they hadn't ruled out the possibility that any antidepressant effect could be secondary to the hormone's known ability to reduce hot flushes. The night sweats, experienced by most perimenopausal women, often disturb sleep and may worsen mood, thus confounding assessment of the hormone's antidepressant properties. Might estrogen simply afford a good night's sleep?

To find out, Schmidt and Rubinow studied 34 women, ages 44-55, who experienced onset of depression coinciding with perimenopause, as confirmed by hormone measures and standardized diagnostic interviews. In controlled, randomized fashion, the women received either estrogen or placebo for 3-6 weeks. Using standardized symptom rating scales and structured interviews, the researchers confirmed that estrogen significantly boosted mood in 80 percent of the depressed women, independent of hot flushes. This level of relief, and the time required to achieve a therapeutic effect, about 3 weeks, are comparable to that seen with antidepressant drugs. Only 20% of the women responded to placebo. Among depression symptoms that improved with the hormone were early morning awakening, loss of enjoyment, sadness and irritability Among symptoms that failed to improve were sexual interest and disturbed sleep.

Blood concentrations of estrogen (estradiol) prior to the study or after hormone treatment did not predict therapeutic response. This suggests that the beneficial effects of estrogen aren't mediated by correcting abnormally low levels of the hormone. Rather, Schmidt and Rubinow suggest that some women may be especially sensitive to changing hormone levels. As with disorders like PMS and post-partum depression, such hormonal changes appear to be necessary, but not sufficient, to trigger perimenopausal depression, say the researchers, who are attempting to identify the still unknown underlying predisposing factors. Doctors often prescribe estrogen to protect perimenopausal women from osteoporosis and heart disease, but long-term use of estrogen replacement may increase a woman's risk of breast and uterine cancer. In the future, more specific-acting medications that work through estrogen receptors may be engineered to selectively enhance bone, blood lipids and brain tissue without adversely affecting breast and uterine tissue, the researchers suggest.

Also participating in the study were: Dr. Lynnette Nieman, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Merry Danaceau, NIH Clinical Center Nursing Department; Jean Murphy, and Drs. Marie Tobin and Catherine Roca, NIMH Behavioral Endocrinology Branch.

For information about participating in NIMH studies on menopause-related mood problems, call 301-402-3235.

#

Schmidt PJ, Nieman L, Danaceau MA, Tobin MB, Roca CA, Murphy JH, Rubinow DR, Estrogen replacement in perimenopause-related depression: a preliminary report. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, August 2000.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute Of Mental Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute Of Mental Health. "Estrogen Lifts Mood In Perimenopause." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000904093709.htm>.
NIH/National Institute Of Mental Health. (2000, September 11). Estrogen Lifts Mood In Perimenopause. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000904093709.htm
NIH/National Institute Of Mental Health. "Estrogen Lifts Mood In Perimenopause." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000904093709.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins