Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Quest for better treatment for effects of menopause

29.05.2008
During menopause, lack of oestrogens increases the risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases. For her doctoral thesis, University of the Basque Country researcher, Ainhoa Ruiz del Agua, studied the effects of substitute treatments and the genetic factors influencing the response to these therapies.

Menopause is a natural period in the ageing process of a woman. On ceasing the ovary function, the body gradually stops producing eggs and female sex hormones (amongst these being oestrogen and progesterone), responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle.

Lack of oestrogens increases the risk of very important diseases with respect to premenopause, amongst these being osteoporosis and illnesses related to the cardiovascular system. Amongst these heart diseases atherosclerosis is the most important, being an illness characterised by the presence of plaques full of lipids (fats) along the walls of the arteries, and which restricts the blood flow, causing high blood pressure. If these plaques break, the result is a thrombosis that can block the artery, causing, amongst other things, heart attack.

To slow down the natural drop in oestrogen level and thus prevent associated problems, substitutive hormonal therapies are prescribed during the menopause, either orally or subcutaneously (with patches), as well as by treatments based on substances that modulate the oestrogen receptor, amongst these being raloxifene. However, the effects of these therapies are disputed, given that there are no definitive conclusions about their usefulness: research carried out to date shows their efficacy in preventing osteoporosis, but it has not been clarified if they are capable of reducing the risk of contracting heart disease. Moreover, the response amongst different women to the same treatment can vary according to environmental factors, population, diet and, of course, as a function of genetic factors.

Ms Ainhoa Ruiz del Agua’s PhD thesis addressed these questions when she recently defended it at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU): Oxidative stress biomarkers during postmenopause: effect of substitutive treatments. Dr Ruiz del Agua is a biochemistry graduate who is currently working as a researcher contracted by the Department of Physiology in the Faculty of Medicine and Odontology of the UPV/EHU. Her work was led by Ms María Begoña Ruiz Larrea and Mr José Ignacio Ruiz Sanz.

Treatment with diverse effects

The principal aim of the research is to determine the effect of substitutive treatments normally administered during postmenopause. Moreover, it aims to define the genetic markers that condition the response to each of the treatments. To this end, Doctor Ruiz del Agua analysed the response by a group of women from Bizkaia to two treatments: on the one hand, to raloxifene and, on the other, to a substitutive hormonal treatment combining estradiol (a type of oestrogen) and progesterone (another female sex hormone).

The conclusions of Doctor Ruiz del Agua’s thesis point to raloxifene, while increasing the antioxidant activity of an enzyme known as arilesterase, which is beneficial, has a neutral effect on the cardiovascular system, given that it does not modifiy other cardiovascular risk markers, nor the characteristics of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) particles.

As regards combined hormonal therapy, Ruiz del Agua points to two main conclusions: it reduces one of the cardiovascular risk markers studied, which is beneficial, but it also reduces antioxidant activity of the serum, which means an adverse effect on the endothelial function (which avoids blood clots forming) and on the balance necessary between oxidant and antioxidant substances.

Genetic factors determining response to treatment

On the one hand, Doctor Ruiz del Agua states that the response to the treatments studied depends on the genetic burden of each patient, this response being favourable or otherwise, depending on the genetic variables carried by the women for the genes analysed.

In the case of hormonal therapies, carriers of the GG genotype (a combination highly frequent in the mpo gene) undergo a drop in the antioxidant activity of the serum, which means, in this sense, a favourable response to the treatment. In the case of raloxifene, only those women who, because of their genetic burden, are disfavoured for the antioxidant activity of arilesterase, gain benefit thanks to the treatment.

In short, this PhD presented at the UPV/EHU shows that certain aspects of treatments employed in postmenopausic women can be approached from an analysis of genetic polymorphisms, a fact which will contribute to the design of more personalised therapies for their application in postmenopause.

Alaitz Ochoa de Eribe | alfa
Further information:
http://www.elhuyar.com
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Berri_Kod=1762&hizk=I

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit
21.08.2017 | Hokkaido University

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>