Menopause transition impacts physiology during aging

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In a recent study, variations in physiology during aging were found between male and female participants.

Menopause transition impacts physiology during aging | Image Credit: © Maxim P - © Maxim P - stock.adobe.com.

Menopause transition impacts physiology during aging | Image Credit: © Maxim P - © Maxim P - stock.adobe.com.

Menopause transition significantly impacts physiology during aging, according to recent data highlighted at The Menopause Society 2023 Annual Meeting.

Takeaways

  • Recent data presented at The Menopause Society 2023 Annual Meeting highlights that the menopause transition significantly affects physiological changes during aging.
  • Estrogen receptors in various brain regions can lead to shifts in cerebral glucose metabolism during the perimenopause period. Researchers have theorized that these changes in cerebral physiology might contribute to neurodegeneration markers.
  • To distinguish typical aging from atypical aging, it is crucial to assess age-related physiological changes. However, there is limited data regarding the association between the menopause transition and cerebral physiology changes during aging.
  • Investigating this association, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study involving 131 women and 125 men aged 40 to 60 years. They evaluated differences in cerebral blood flow and arterial transit time between menopausal women at various stages and men of the same age group.
  • Although previous research suggested differences in cerebral hemodynamics during menopause based on menopausal stage, the recent study did not find significant variations among women at different stages. However, significant differences were observed between women at each menopausal stage and men of the same age group.

Estrogen receptors can be found in multiple regions of the brain, causing shifts in cerebral glucose metabolism during the perimenopause period. Investigators have hypothesized changes in cerebral physiology during menopause may lead to structural biomarkers of neurodegeneration.

It is vital to evaluate age-related changes in physiology to identify typical vs atypical aging. However, there is little data on the association between the menopause transition and age-related changes in cerebral physiology. To evaluate this association, investigators conducted a cross-sectional study.

Differences in the average cerebral blood flow and arterial transit time between women at various stages of menopause and men in the same age group were evaluated. There were 131 women and 125 men aged 40 to 60 years included in the analysis.

While prior research has indicated menopause cerebral hemodynamics differ based on menopause stage, the recent study did not find statistically significant differences among women in different stages of menopause. However, the mean cerebral blood flow and arterial transit time significantly varied between women at each menopausal stage and men of the same age group.

Significant differences for the mean cerebral blood flow and arterial transit time were found in the middle temporal cortex, the superior parietal and frontal cortices, and the prefrontal and inferior parietal cortices between sexes. Differences based on sex were more evident than those based on menopause stage.

These results indicate menopause transition may be associated with physiological neuroprotective mechanisms. Investigators recommended additional research be conducted to determine the impact of lifestyle, medical history, and cardiometabolic risk.

“The impact of menopause stage on age-related changes in the brain is definitely of interest to those involved in midlife women’s health,” said Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, medical director for The Menopause Society. “We look forward to the additional analysis that will investigate the impact of lifestyle, medical history, and cardiometabolic risk.”

Reference

The impact of menopause stage on age-related changes in the brain. The Menopause Society. September 27, 2023. Accessed October 2, 2023. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1002625#:~:text=In%20contrast%20to%20prior%20work,were%20observed%20between%20menopause%20stages.

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