Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Complex Changes In The Brain's Vascular System Occur After Menopause

Date:
June 20, 2008
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Many women experience menopausal changes in their body including hot flashes, moodiness and fatigue, but the changes they don't notice can be more dangerous. Researchers have now discovered significant changes in the brain's vascular system when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. Scientists predict that currently used estrogen-based hormone therapies may complicate this process and may do more harm than good in postmenopausal women.

Many women experience menopausal changes in their body including hot flashes, moodiness and fatigue, but the changes they don’t notice can be more dangerous. In a new study, researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered significant changes in the brain’s vascular system when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. MU scientists predict that currently used estrogen-based hormone therapies may complicate this process and may do more harm than good in postmenopausal women.

"Before menopause, women are much more protected from certain conditions such as heart disease and stroke, but these vascular changes might explain why women lose this protection after menopause," said Olga Glinskii, research assistant professor of medical pharmacology and physiology in MU’s School of Medicine and lead author of the study. “Because the body eventually will naturally adapt to the loss of estrogen, we advise extreme caution when using estrogen-based therapy in postmenopausal women.”

In their study, MU researchers removed the ovaries of pigs, which have a reproductive cycle similar to humans, to create postmenopausal conditions. Two months after the ovaries were removed, they observed dramatic differences in the brain’s vascular system. There was a huge loss of micro vessels, and blood vessels became “leaky.”

“Eventually, however, the body starts to recognize that it needs blood vessels and starts to adapt through natural responses,” said Vladislav Glinskii, assistant professor of pathology and anatomical sciences in MU’s School of Medicine, research health scientist at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital and co-senior author of the study. “If we start adding estrogen to a system that is learning to adapt without it, we upset this transition process. What happens to the vascular system during menopause is complex on many different levels, and we do not know enough to determine the best way to use hormonetherapy.

Before menopause, the vascular system depends on estrogen for maintenance. When the body decreases its estrogen production, the body is unable to regulate blood vessels like it did before. After a period of deterioration, the body learns to adapt to the estrogen loss and eventually maintains the system in a different way.

“The vascular system is like a roadmap that is always changing,” said Virginia Huxley, director of the National Center for Gender Physiology, professor of medical pharmacology and physiology in MU’s School of Medicine, and co-senior author of the study. “The blood vessels are the highways that transport oxygen and other nutrients in our body. After menopause, women are more likely to develop vascular diseases in the ‘side streets’ or the tiny vessels. In these vessels, the symptoms are more subtle and harder to identify.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. PDGF/VEGF System Activation and Angiogenesis Following Initial Post Ovariectomy Meningeal Microvessel Loss. Cell Cycle, 2008

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Complex Changes In The Brain's Vascular System Occur After Menopause." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616153622.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2008, June 20). Complex Changes In The Brain's Vascular System Occur After Menopause. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616153622.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Complex Changes In The Brain's Vascular System Occur After Menopause." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080616153622.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. 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