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.

Related Articles


"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 December 22, 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 December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. 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:

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