Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UC Davis Study Shows Estrogen Protects Brain Cells And Reduces Risk Of Developing Alzheimer's Disease

Date:
November 26, 2001
Source:
University Of California-Davis Medical Center
Summary:
A new study coming out of UC Davis Medical Center and the Center for Neuroscience shows how estrogen can protect brain cells against various insults that cause the mental deterioration seen in many ailments, including Alzheimer's disease. The study is among those specifically highlighted at Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego on November 14.

(SAN DIEGO, Calif.) -- A new study coming out of UC Davis Medical Center and the Center for Neuroscience shows how estrogen can protect brain cells against various insults that cause the mental deterioration seen in many ailments, including Alzheimer's disease. The study is among those specifically highlighted at Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego on November 14.

"We found, for the first time, that the hippocampus, a brain structure involved in memory, which shrinks in Alzheimer's disease patients, was larger in postmenopausal women who were taking estrogen replacement therapy than in either postmenopausal women who were not taking estrogen or a group of elderly men," says William Jagust, of the University of California in Davis. "Our results support the idea that estrogen replacement therapy protects brain cells and reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in postmenopausal women."

In the study the researchers examined the brains of 59 postmenopausal women and 38 elderly men. Some of the subjects had mild memory problems but none met the criteria for a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. The brain imaging technique, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which provides a three-dimensional picture of the living brain, determined the size of each subject's hippocampus. The hippocampus was larger in the women taking estrogen than in the women not taking estrogen and the men.

"These findings suggest that the protective effects of estrogen on the brain may be lost after menopause but could be maintained by estrogen replacement therapy," says Jagust.

Earlier MRI studies have found that the hippocampus is smaller in subjects with Alzheimer's disease than in normal elderly subjects, according to Jagust. A number of MRI studies also showed that elderly subjects with mild memory problems and a small hippocampus are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than subjects with memory problems who do not have a small hippocampus.

"This suggests that MRI measures of hippocampal size may be useful for identifying individuals who are at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease, as well as for monitoring the effects of various treatments and protective agents, such as estrogen replacement therapy," says Jagust.

In the future, the researchers plan to retest the memory of the subjects to determine if those subjects with a small hippocampus are more likely to show a decline in memory over time and whether estrogen replacement therapy helps to protect the other subjects against memory loss and the development of Alzheimer's disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California-Davis Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California-Davis Medical Center. "UC Davis Study Shows Estrogen Protects Brain Cells And Reduces Risk Of Developing Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120054652.htm>.
University Of California-Davis Medical Center. (2001, November 26). UC Davis Study Shows Estrogen Protects Brain Cells And Reduces Risk Of Developing Alzheimer's Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120054652.htm
University Of California-Davis Medical Center. "UC Davis Study Shows Estrogen Protects Brain Cells And Reduces Risk Of Developing Alzheimer's Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/11/011120054652.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

AFP (July 24, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th - prompting hundreds in Virginia to turn out for a free clinic run by “Remote Area Medical”. Duration 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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