Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Animal Studies Prove Hormone Replacement Therapy Improves Memory, Report Pitt Researchers

Date:
November 7, 2002
Source:
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Summary:
For estrogen to enhance learning and memory, nerve cells in the brain called cholinergic neurons are essential to the process, suggest animal studies performed by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and reported in the November issue of Hormones and Behavior, the official journal of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 5 – For estrogen to enhance learning and memory, nerve cells in the brain called cholinergic neurons are essential to the process, suggest animal studies performed by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and reported in the November issue of Hormones and Behavior, the official journal of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology.

"Estrogen replacement in postmenopausal women has important effects on mood and cognition. This research was focused on trying to understand what estrogen does in the brain to reduce the effects on brain aging and cognitive decline," stated Robert Gibbs, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.

In the study, rats had their ovaries removed and some of the animals had specific cholinergic neurons destroyed. A few weeks after surgery, most of the animals were put on estrogen replacement therapy (ERT), while some were not. Four weeks after ERT, the animals were placed several times in a maze to test their memory and performance. Rats that had their ovaries removed with subsequent ERT outperformed rats on various tasks without ERT. The ability of estrogen to enhance performance was lost in animals that had specific cholinergic neurons removed.

"This tells us that the cholinergic neurons are necessary for estrogen to enhance performance in this model," explained Dr. Gibbs.

"We have shown, as in previous studies, that acute and short-term estrogen replacement can significantly enhance the functional status of cholinergic neurons. These results give us hope that estrogen may help to significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer's-related dementia in postmenopausal women, possibly by affecting these cholinergic neurons," added Dr. Gibbs.

While there have been some studies on the effects of hormone replacement therapy in cognitive decline in postmenopausal women, many experts say further studies need to be done. Sarah L. Berga, M.D., professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who was not officially part of this study, notes this evidence adds to the growing body of cellular and epidemiological data suggesting that estrogen use after menopause guards against the development of dementia.

"The study also suggests why starting estrogen after dementia has developed is ineffective. For estrogen to work, the neurons must be alive and working," stated Dr. Berga.

"I would hesitate to say that these results extend to humans, but the findings are encouraging because they help pinpoint a specific biological effect that may underlie beneficial effects on cognitive performance," concluded Dr. Gibbs.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Animal Studies Prove Hormone Replacement Therapy Improves Memory, Report Pitt Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021107074634.htm>.
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (2002, November 7). Animal Studies Prove Hormone Replacement Therapy Improves Memory, Report Pitt Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021107074634.htm
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Animal Studies Prove Hormone Replacement Therapy Improves Memory, Report Pitt Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021107074634.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. 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