Women with bipolar disorder often experience fluctuating mood symptoms across the menstrual cycle, typically reporting an exacerbation of symptoms during the premenstrual phase of the cycle (Rasgon et al, 2003, 2005). Other studies have indicated [...]
Several years ago, we reviewed a paper suggesting that estrogen may be a beneficial treatment for women with schizophrenia. In this study, patients with schizophrenia were treated with estrogen. There was significant improvement in their [...]
Early observational studies suggested that postmenopausal hormone treatment may improve cognitive functioning in women; however, studies from the Women’s Health Initiative have shown that estrogen replacement therapy started in postmenopausal women (65 years or older) [...]
While there are concerns regarding the risks associated with prolonged use of hormone replacement, an increasing number of studies suggest that the risk may be relatively low in certain settings. A study presented this week at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting which analyzed data from 43 randomized clinical trials suggests that menopausal hormone-replacement therapy does not appear to affect mortality either positively or negatively.
Here's a new way to look at hot flashes. How much do they cost our society in terms of additional health care and lost productivity?
A study to be published in an upcoming issue of Menopause suggests that stellate ganglion blockade (SGB) may be an effective option for women with vasomotor symptoms (VMS), including hot flashes and night sweats. SGB is used primarily for pain management and involves the injection of local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion, part of the sympathetic nerve system located in the neck.
Following the publication of the Women's Health Initiative report in 2002, there was a dramatic drop in the use of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) due to concerns about increased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and stroke. Since that time, various non-hormonal alternatives have been utilized for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, including gabapentin and various serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Previous studies have shown that the abrupt hormonal changes that occur after a surgical menopause (i.e., removal of the ovaries) negatively affect cognition in women. According to a recent study, "Women who were younger at the time of surgical menopause have a more rapid rate (steeper slope) of cognitive decline than women who were older at the time of surgery or than women undergoing natural menopause." Earlier age at menopause was also associated with increased Alzheimer’s disease neuropathology, in particular neuritic plaques.
An estimated 80% of sexually active young women in the United States use hormonal or oral contraceptives (OCs). Clinically it is found that some women report depression or mood swings with oral contraceptives; however, many women seem to tolerate hormonal contraceptive without any effects on mood. Despite the prevalence of OC usage, few studies have explored the association between hormonal contraceptive use and mood disturbance.
We previously reported on studies suggesting estrogen may be helpful for the treatment of depression in peri- and post-menopausal women, either alone or in combination with an antidepressant. In addition, other studies have suggested that older, postmenopausal women may respond more poorly to antidepressants than premenopausal women. Two recent studies attempt to better understand the impact of reproductive hormones on clinical presentation and treatment response of depression in women.