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Brain Changes Link Menopause With Higher Alzheimer’s Risk – Consumer Health News

THURSDAY, June 30, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Women usually tend to develop Alzheimer’s illness than males, and a brand new research reveals that sure mind modifications recognized to extend this danger might accrue throughout menopause.

Women who’ve gone by menopause have extra white matter hyperintensities of their brains than premenopausal girls or males of the identical age, researchers discovered. These are tiny lesions seen on mind scans which can be linked to an elevated danger of cerebral small vessel ailments, together with stroke, Alzheimer’s illness and issues with considering and reminiscence.

“At a youthful age, on common, there aren’t any discernible variations between women and men, [but] older girls have extra of those abnormalities than males of comparable age, and this hole happens round menopause and widens thereafter,” mentioned research creator Dr. Monique Breteler. She is the director of inhabitants well being sciences on the German Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn, Germany.

The new findings level to menopause as an necessary turning level, she mentioned.

“Whether it’s the prevalence of menopause itself [and the related change in hormone levels], or moderately, that menopause happens because of and marks [other] underlying mechanisms, stay to be investigated,” Breteler mentioned.

The research included 3,410 individuals who had been aged 54, on common. Of these, 58% had been girls, and 59% of those girls had been postmenopausal. Fully 35% of all members had hypertension, and for half of them, their hypertension was not underneath management. Folks underwent MRI brain scans, and researchers calculated the quantity of white matter hyperintensities of their brains based mostly on these photos.

There had been no variations within the common quantity of white matter hyperintensities seen amongst premenopausal men and women of the same age.

But postmenopausal girls had extra white matter hyperintensities than males, and the rise in these mind biomarkers accelerated at a sooner fee after menopause, the research confirmed. What’s extra, postmenopausal girls additionally had extra white matter hyperintensities than premenopausal girls of comparable ages.

Women with uncontrolled high blood pressure additionally had greater quantities of this mind biomarker in comparison with males, and this was unrelated to menopausal standing, the research discovered.

There had been no variations in white matter hyperintensities amongst postmenopausal and premenopausal girls utilizing hormone remedy, suggesting that hormone alternative remedy to deal with the signs of menopause might not have a protecting impact on the ageing mind, Breteler famous.

Now, researchers plan to proceed their analysis. “The overarching focus is, after all, on discovering modifiable causes of cerebral small vessel disease,” Breteler mentioned.

The research seems on-line June 29 within the journal Neurology.

Outside consultants level out that there are issues girls can do to guard their mind as they age.

“There has been a number of analysis accomplished on girls and mind ageing and the function that menopause might play, and the brand new research means that menopause could also be a excessive-danger time for vascular mind ageing,” mentioned Rebecca Thurston. She is the Pittsburgh Foundation Chair in girls’s well being and dementia on the University of Pittsburgh and a previous president of the North American Menopause Society.

It might not be the drop in estrogen throughout menopause that causes these mind modifications, Thurston mentioned. Instead, they may very well be associated to hot flashes and/or sleep issues.

There are issues girls can do right this moment to guard their brains as researchers seek for solutions. This begins by treating hypertension, not smoking, participating in common bodily exercise, consuming a nutritious diet, getting good-high quality sleep, and never consuming extreme quantities of alcohol. “All of this stuff are necessary for mind well being,” Thurston mentioned.

Dr. Howard Fillit mentioned there could also be a task for hormone alternative remedy for some girls throughout menopause. He is the founding government director and chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation in New York City.

“Estrogen declines dramatically with ovarian failure at menopause and has pervasive results on the mind, bones and different organs,” Fillit mentioned. Women ought to have a dialog with their physician about the advantages and dangers of alternative hormones.

“Controlling hypertension can also be critically necessary to stop microvascular illness on the mind,” he added.

More data

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation offers tips about how to boost brain health.

SOURCES: Monique Breteler, MD, PhD, director, inhabitants well being sciences, German Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Bonn, Germany; Rebecca Thurston, PhD, Pittsburgh Foundation Chair, girls’s well being and dementia, and professor, psychiatry, scientific and translational science, epidemiology, psychology, University of Pittsburgh; and previous president, North American Menopause Society; Howard Fillit, MD, founding government director and chief science officer, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, New York City; Neurology, June 29, 2022

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