Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Women on hormone therapy regain emotion response

18.10.2006
OHSU study finds women on extrogen recoup loss of response to negative emotional events

Older women on hormone therapy are more sensitive to negative events, confirming speculation that age-related estrogen loss affects the brain's ability to process emotion, an Oregon Health & Science University study shows.

But that sensitivity to negative emotional events, such as viewing a photograph of a dead person, doesn't necessarily mean women taking estrogen remember those events any better.

In the study by researchers in the Cognition & Aging Laboratory at the OHSU School of Medicine's Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, hormone therapy in women appears to reverse the age-related loss of arousal to negative emotional events experienced by the elderly. It also points to specific changes in the brain's arousal system, in the regions that process emotion, and intensification of negative emotions.

The results were presented today at Neuroscience 2006, the Society for Neuroscience's 36th annual meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Scientists have suspected a link between sex hormones and emotion. Strengthening this theory is the fact that brain regions tuned for processing emotion and storing emotional memory - the amygdala and hippocampus - also respond to sex hormones and contain hormone receptors. Thus, changes in "emotional enhancement" people experience as they age, including a reduction in the ability to remember negative events, may be modified by age-related loss of sex hormones or hormone therapy.

In the OHSU study, researchers compared the emotional responsiveness of 45 healthy older, post-menopausal women ages 65 to 85 who had used hormone therapy an average of more than 20 years, to that of 26 women not on hormone therapy. Their performance also was compared to that of young women ages 24 to 40, also on no hormone therapy.

The groups participated in two studies about emotion, including one in which they viewed scenes that had positive, neutral or negative emotional content A negative scene might contain a dead person, while a positive scene might contain puppies. The women then rated the scenes for valence, or the positive or negative nature of the scene, and arousal, or the intensity of the emotion. The women's memory for the scenes was then tested one to two weeks later.

While younger and older women, regardless of their hormone status, had similar valence ratings and similar patterns for memory, the groups differed in their ratings of arousal for the scenes. Women on hormone therapy rated negative scenes as more arousing than positive scenes, and just the opposite was found in the women without hormone therapy.

Similar results were found for responses to a story that contained negative content. Women on hormone therapy showed more arousal for the negative section of the story, and this increase in arousal carried over to the neutral ending.

The type of hormone therapy, such as estrogen alone or in combination with progesterone, did not affect results.

Despite increased arousal for negative scenes and events, hormone therapy did not impact memory. Heightened arousal did not translate into better memory for negative events as has been found in younger people. Therefore, in aging, the scientists suggest, the arousal system is modified and can't direct memory consolidation as it does in the young.

Heightened arousal to negative material among older women using hormone therapy is intriguing because the amygdala responds to emotional material and is also a site for estrogen activity, the researchers explained. One possible explanation for this is estrogen increases and sustains amygdala reactivity to negative emotional material in older women, but the brain system critical for storage of information, the hippocampus, does not respond to the increased signal from the amygdala.

Current studies are using neuroimaging methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to study brain activity in older men and women to investigate how hormone loss or hormone therapies change the brain's processing and memory for emotional events.

Jonathan Modie | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ohsu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>