Different hormone therapies affect brain function differently

June 10, 2020

CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 10, 2020)--Sex hormones influence the structure and function of the brain, but little is known about the effect of hormone therapies (HT) on changes in the brain during menopause. A new study shows smaller increases in structural brain changes related to aging were associated with hormone-level changes from transdermal estradiol or oral conjugated equine estrogen. Study results are published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Age-related changes in learning and memory have been associated with changes in the structure of the brain. Visually, such structural changes can be seen through magnetic resonance imaging in what appear as bright white spots in the brain (known as white matter hyperintensities). These changes in brain structure and in cognitive function may, in part, be related to the lower estrogen levels resulting from menopause.

In a new study involving participants from the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study, researchers investigated the link between the changes in hormone levels (from both the brain and the ovary) with different HT formulations and structural changes in the brain associated with aging compared with placebo. They found that smaller increases in these age-related structural brain changes were linked to decreases in follicle-stimulating hormone in women taking transdermal estradiol and higher levels of estrone (a particular form of estrogen commonly found in postmenopausal women) in women in both HT groups (transdermal estradiol and oral conjugated equine estrogens).

Researchers theorized that the differences may likely be in how the various HT formulations are metabolized. Although an oral administration is further metabolized in the liver, the transdermal hormones are absorbed directly into the peripheral circulation before being metabolized in the liver. Additional research is needed to evaluate the effect of different doses of various oral and transdermal hormones on the change in white matter hyperintensities.

Study results appear in the article "Associations of pituitary-ovarian hormones and white matter hyperintensities in recently menopausal women using hormone therapy."

"This study found that pituitary and ovarian hormone levels are linked to structural brain changes associated with aging in recently menopausal women using hormone therapy and that there are differences in these associations depending on the hormone therapy formulation used. Additional study is needed to determine whether dosages of hormone therapy also affect these associations and to determine what the clinical implications of these findings are for menopausal women," says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
-end-
The authors have prepared a video summary of this article that can be found at: https://cdn-links.lww.com/permalink/meno/a/meno_00_00_2020_03_10_kling_meno-d-19-00371_sdc1.mp4

For more information about menopause and healthy aging, visit http://www.menopause.org.

Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field--including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education--makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit http://www.menopause.org.

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Related Aging Articles from Brightsurf:

Surprises in 'active' aging
Aging is a process that affects not only living beings.

Aging-US: 'From Causes of Aging to Death from COVID-19' by Mikhail V. Blagosklonny
Aging-US recently published ''From Causes of Aging to Death from COVID-19'' by Blagosklonny et al. which reported that COVID-19 is not deadly early in life, but mortality increases exponentially with age - which is the strongest predictor of mortality.

Understanding the effect of aging on the genome
EPFL scientists have measured the molecular footprint that aging leaves on various mouse and human tissues.

Muscle aging: Stronger for longer
With life expectancy increasing, age-related diseases are also on the rise, including sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass due to aging.

Aging memories may not be 'worse, 'just 'different'
A study from the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences in Arts & Sciences adds nuance to the idea that an aging memory is a poor one and finds a potential correlation between the way people process the boundaries of events and episodic memory.

A new biomarker for the aging brain
Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan have identified changes in the aging brain related to blood circulation.

Scientists invented an aging vaccine
A new way to prevent autoimmune diseases associated with aging like atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease was described in the article.

The first roadmap for ovarian aging
Infertility likely stems from age-related decline of the ovaries, but the molecular mechanisms that lead to this decline have been unclear.

Researchers discover new cause of cell aging
New research from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering could be key to our understanding of how the aging process works.

Deep Aging Clocks: The emergence of AI-based biomarkers of aging and longevity
The advent of deep biomarkers of aging, longevity and mortality presents a range of non-obvious applications.

Read More: Aging News and Aging Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.