Not just a menopausal symptom -- men have hot flashes, too

April 13, 2007

Philadelphia - April 13, 2007 - A new study in Psychophysiology confirms a surprising fact - men who have undergone chemical castration for conditions such as prostate cancer experience hot flashes similar to those experienced by menopausal women. Using a technique called sternal skin conductance, doctors were able to positively identify hot flashes in males, a positive step toward providing therapy for those patients in need.

"Most people are unaware that men can have hot flashes," says study author Dr. Laura Hanisch. "Even the patients themselves are often unaware that they are having them." Having a test that objectively measures when hot flashes are occurring can help both doctors and patients identify the episodes, and can assist researchers in finding their root cause.

"If we can use sternal skin conductance to monitor the frequency and perception of hot flashes, the data could then be used to develop safe and effective treatments that would be a better alternative than taking hormone treatments or discontinuing cancer-related treatments," says Hanisch.

Hanisch also says that hot flashes going unnoticed may be a sign that people can adapt to them. Therefore, patients could possibly benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to pharmacological treatments.
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This study is published in Psychophysiology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact journalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Dr. Laura Hanisch is a research postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania. She can be reached for questions at hanisch@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Psychophysiology is the oldest, first, and most established journal in its field. This prestigious international journal plays a key role in advancing psychophysiological science and human neuroscience, covering research on the interrelationships between the physiological and psychological aspects of brain and behavior. For more information, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com/psyp.

Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with 665 medical, academic, and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 800 journals and has over 6,000 books in print. The company employs over 1,000 staff members in offices in the US, UK, Australia, China, Singapore, Denmark, Germany, and Japan and officially merged with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.'s Scientific, Technical, and Medical business in February 2007. Blackwell's mission as an expert publisher is to create long-term partnerships with our clients that enhance learning, disseminate research, and improve the quality of professional practice. For more information on Blackwell Publishing, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com or www.blackwell-synergy.com.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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