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You need to know how menopause changes a woman’s brain

During menopause, which marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle, her ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone, ending her natural year of childbirth. However, these hormones also regulate brain function, and the brain controls their release. So menopause is also a neurological process. “Many of the symptoms of menopause cannot be directly caused by the ovaries, given hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and brain fog,” said Lisa Mosconi, an associate professor. I will. Director of Neurology of Weil Cornell Medicine and its Women’s Brain Initiative. “These are symptoms of the brain, and we need to look at the brain as being at least as affected by menopause as the ovaries.”

In June, Mosconi and her colleagues published in Scientific Reports, one of the few studies to observe in detail. What happens to the brain during the menopausal transition Not just before and after. They used a variety of neuroimaging techniques to scan the brains of more than 160 women at various stages between the ages of 40 and 65 to examine organ structure, blood flow, metabolism, and function. They did many of the same scans two years later. They also imaged the brains of men of the same age group. “What we found in women, not men, is that the brain changes a lot,” says Mosconi. “The transition to menopause really leads to an overall remodeling.”

On average, women in the United States enter a transitional period of menopause — defined as the first 12 consecutive months without a period — about 50 years old. Once diagnosed, they are postmenopausal. However, they may begin to have hormonal fluctuations in their 40s. (For some women, this happens in their thirties, and surgical removal of the ovaries, like some cancer treatments, causes immediate menopause.) These fluctuations cause irregular periods. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including burning, insomnia, and upset mood. Loss of concentration and changes in sexual arousal. At this stage, known as menopause, which averages four years in length (though it can last from months to 10 years), Mosconi et al. White matter (the fibers that connect those cells). However, after menopause, the loss ceased and, in some cases, increased brain volume, albeit not of premenopausal size. Researchers also detected changes that corresponded to how the brain metabolized energy, but these did not affect memory, higher-order processing, or language testing performance. This suggests that the female brain “recovers through this process,” said Harvard Medical School professor of psychiatry and medicine and founder and office of the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Gender Medical Innovation Center. Director Jill M. Goldstein said. hospital. “It adapts to the new normal.”

You need to know how menopause changes a woman’s brain

Source link You need to know how menopause changes a woman’s brain

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