Disease caused by Low Estrogen in Brain Tissue
December 22nd, 2005
Tangles (left) Senile Plaque ( right)
Studies of post-mortem brains of women that suffered of Alzheimer’s
disease showed they had significantly lower levels of estrogen in their
brain tissue compared to women of similar age without the disorder.
First reported in this week’s online edition of the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, the research shows that the lower level of
estrogen can increase a women’s risk of having Alzheimer’s disease. It
is more common for women to suffer of Alzheimer’s compared to men. One
reason this is so is that women generally live longer, but the estrogen
link may also contribute to a potential aid in preventing this
alone does not insure that women will get Alzheimer’s, less than a
quarter of women will get Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Rena Li who is the senior author of the report as well as the
principal scientist and associate professor at Sun Health Research
Institute in Sun City, Arizona said, "The most common hypothesis is that
women have a reduction of estrogen after menopause". Dr. Li continued
by saying, "If estrogen reduction is the mechanism, then all women
reaching menopause should have some degree of Alzheimer's -- and that's
Dr. Li and her research team thought that possibly fat and brain tissue
in addition to ovarian tissue would also be estrogen producing organs.
Although ovarian tissue retires from producing estrogen after menopause,
the other organs typically do not.
They further researched mice that were genetically made to have
Alzheimer’s disease with an estrogen deficiency in the brain. They
watched for protein plaques call beta-amyloid within the brain tissue to
insure that the mice with estrogen deficiency did in fact get
Previous researchers have only looked at blood serum levels of estrogen
and have not researched brain tissue estrogen levels before. Dr. Li’s
research team will further study animals for potential drugs that may
help to restore the loss of brain estrogen deficiency in hopes to
prevent Alzheimer’s disease from occurring.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
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