​Uncovering Alzheimer’s Disease: Researchers Examine the Impact of Menopause on Cognitive Function & Alzheimer's Development in Women by 30Seconds Health

​Uncovering Alzheimer’s Disease: Researchers Examine the Impact of Menopause on Cognitive Function & Alzheimer's Development in Women

Characterized by a buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain, Alzheimer’s is an irreversible disease that leads to memory loss and a decrease in cognitive function. More than five million Americans suffer with the brain condition, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. While the causes of Alzheimer’s are not fully understood, scientists believe genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors are involved in the disease’s development.

Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that the decline of reproductive hormones due to ovary removal, which is a model of menopause, can reduce cognitive function and potentially play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease in women. The findings could help explain why women make up nearly two-thirds of people in the United States with Alzheimer’s disease, although gender is just one of many contributing factors.

Yuksel and Cansu Agca, researchers at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, Mutant Mouse Resource and Research Center and Comparative Medicine Program, used rats experiencing induced menopause to serve as Alzheimer’s models at Discovery Ridge Research Park. After placing the rats in a special maze designed to test their behavior, they found that the rats with induced menopause displayed poor memory and learning, indicating a decline in cognitive function.

“We wanted to see what impact various interventions, such as hormone depletion from menopause, had on the potential development of Alzheimer’s,” says Yuksel Agca, associate professor of veterinary pathology. “These animal models can be useful for future testing to examine the impact of a variety of other factors, such as alcohol, smoking, diet, exercise, hypertension or previous traumatic brain injuries.”

Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s currently, studying how the age-related disease progresses over time in animals can help better inform the development of therapeutic drugs for humans, such as hormone replacement therapy. Lifestyle choices can also be made to decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

“While some people are genetically predisposed, or more likely, to develop Alzheimer’s, avoiding bad habits like an unhealthy diet or lack of exercise can help reduce the risks,” says lead author Cansu Agca. “It’s a complicated disease to understand because we all have variations in our genes, and we each respond to lifestyle choices and environmental factors differently, but this research can help us learn which factors are potentially contributing to or increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s.”

The research is an example of translational medicine, a major component of the NextGen Precision Health Institute. By partnering with government and industry leaders, the institute will empower interdisciplinary collaborations and life-changing precision health advancements targeting individual genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.

Source: Press release from Mizzou News, University of Missouri 

The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community. Inspire and be inspired.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Make These 3 Easy Lifestyle Tweaks to Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease Starting Now

Alzheimer’s Disease: ​10 Alzheimer's Warning Signs to Help Ensure Early Detection & Diagnosis

Signs of Alzheimer's: 7 Signs Your Forgetfulness Is Really an Early Symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer's & Dementia: Physical Fitness Is Good, But Your Brain Needs Exercise, Too!

Elisa Schmitz
Wow, such important news. Thank you for sharing this insight with us!
My mom has dementia. So difficult to see this happening to her. Thanks for this.

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Good Gut Health: 4 Ways Gut Health Affects More Than Just Digestion

Triple Berry Smoothie Recipe Provides Quadruple the Health Benefits

​Digestive Health: The 7 Kinds of Poop & What You Can Do That Might Make Yours Healthier

Bowel Cancer Awareness: How to Spot the Signs of Bowel Cancer & When to See a Doctor