Injecting a little anesthetic near a nerve bundle in the neck cut troublesome hot flashes significantly, shows a new randomized, controlled trial published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). The technique could give women who cannot or prefer not to take hormones or other medications an effective treatment alternative.
In this study from two Chicago medical schools, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, 40 women who had moderate to severe hot flashes got either a stellate ganglion block—an injection of tiny amounts of anesthetic near a nerve bundle in the neck—or an injection of plain saline solution.
Both groups of women kept diaries of the frequency and severity of their hot flashes from two weeks before the injection until six months afterward. In addition, for 24 hours at the start of the study and three months after the injection, the women wore skin conductance monitors, which measured hot flashes objectively and also let the women record when they felt a hot flash.
On average, the women had 10 hot flashes a day, rating two-thirds of them moderate or severe. (Hot flashes lasting up to 15 minutes with symptoms such as perspiration, clammy skin, dry mouth, tense muscles, and rapid heartbeat were considered "moderate." Hot flashes lasting up to 20 minutes with symptoms such as "raging furnace" warmth, weakness, feeling faint, extreme perspiration, and heart irregularities were considered "severe.")
Four to six months after the injection, the total number of hot flashes wasn't significantly different between the real- and sham-treated groups, but the number of moderate to severe hot flashes was cut in half for women who got the real nerve block (52%) compared with just 4% for the women who got the sham injection. What's more, the intensity of the hot flashes dropped 38% for the women who got the real nerve block, compared with just 8% for those who got the sham injection.
"A few small studies suggested that this treatment had potential, but this is the first study to show that this hot flash treatment really is better than placebo. The nerve blocks could prove very helpful for women with a history of breast cancer, as well as for women who prefer not to use hormones or other drugs for hot flashes," says NAMS Executive Director Margery Gass, MD.
The study, "Effects of stellate ganglion block on vasomotor symptoms: findings from a randomized controlled clinical trial in postmenopausal women," was supported by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University and grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women's Health and will be published in the August 2014 print edition of Menopause.
Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field—including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education—makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging.
Eileen Petridis | EurekAlert!
Consensus in the Fight Against Colorectal Cancer
31.05.2016 | Universität Bern
Nanotubes are beacons in cancer-imaging technique
23.05.2016 | Rice University
Physicists of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich in collaboration with scientists from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have observed a light-matter phenomenon in nano-optics, which lasts only attoseconds.
The interaction between light and matter is of key importance in nature, the most prominent example being photosynthesis. Light-matter interactions have also...
A biological and energy-efficient process, developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck, converts nitrogen compounds in wastewater treatment facilities into harmless atmospheric nitrogen gas. This innovative technology is now being refined and marketed jointly with the United States’ DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). The largest DEMON®-system in a wastewater treatment plant is currently being built in Washington, DC.
The DEMON®-system was developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck 11 years ago. Today this successful technology has been implemented in about 70...
Permanent magnets are very important for technologies of the future like electromobility and renewable energy, and rare earth elements (REE) are necessary for their manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, has now succeeded in identifying promising approaches and materials for new permanent magnets through use of an in-house simulation process based on high-throughput screening (HTS). The team was able to improve magnetic properties this way and at the same time replaced REE with elements that are less expensive and readily available. The results were published in the online technical journal “Scientific Reports”.
The starting point for IWM researchers Wolfgang Körner, Georg Krugel, and Christian Elsässer was a neodymium-iron-nitrogen compound based on a type of...
In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.
In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...
Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices
Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.
24.05.2016 | Event News
20.05.2016 | Event News
19.05.2016 | Event News
31.05.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
31.05.2016 | Life Sciences
31.05.2016 | Information Technology