The Menopause-Alzheimer’s Connection

By Lisa Mosconi-Dr. Mosconi is a neuroscientist.
April 18, 2018

In the next three minutes, three people will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Two of them will be women.
There are 5.7 million Alzheimer’s patients in the United States. By 2050, there will probably be as many as 14 million, and twice as many women as men will have the disease.

And yet research into “women’s health” remains largely focused on reproductive fitness and breast cancer. We need to be paying much more attention to the most important aspect of any woman’s future: her ability to think, to recall, to imagine — her brain.

When I first started in the field, Alzheimer’s was thought of as the inevitable consequence of bad genes, aging or both. Today we understand that Alzheimer’s has compound causes, such as age, genetics, high blood pressure and aspects of lifestyle, including diet and exercise. There is also scientific consensus that Alzheimer’s is not always a disease of old age but can start in the brain when people are in their 40s and 50s.

What we are only beginning to understand is why women are more susceptible. What factors differentiate women from men, specifically as we reach middle age?

The first and most obvious thing is fertility. Women are diverse, but we all experience the decline in fertility and the beginning of menopause.

It turns out that menopause affects far more than our childbearing potential. Symptoms like night sweats, hot flashes and depression originate not in the ovaries but largely in the brain. These symptoms are all caused by an ebb in estrogen. The latest research, including my own work, indicates that estrogen serves to protect the female brain from aging. It stimulates neural activity and may help prevent the build up of plaques that are connected to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. When estrogen levels decline, the female brain becomes much more vulnerable.

To determine this, my colleagues and I used a brain imaging technique called PET on a group of healthy middle-aged women. This allowed us to measure neural activity and the presence of Alzheimer’s plaques. The tests revealed that the women who were postmenopausal had less brain activity and more Alzheimer’s plaques than premenopausal women. More surprising, this was also the case for perimenopausal women — those who were just starting to experience symptoms of menopause. And both groups’ brains showed even more drastic differences when compared with those of healthy men of the same age.

The good news is that as women mature into their 40s and 50s, there seems to be a window of opportunity when it is possible to detect early signs of higher Alzheimer’s risk — by doing a brain-imaging test, as we did — and to take action to reduce that risk.

There is increasing evidence that hormone replacement therapies — mainly, giving women supplemental estrogen — can help to alleviate symptoms if given before menopause. We need much more research to test the efficacy and safety of hormone therapy, which has been tied to an increased risk of heart disease, blood clots and breast cancer in some cases.

Perhaps in the next decade it will become the norm for middle-aged women to receive preventive testing and treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, just as they get mammograms today. In the meantime, research shows that diet can alleviate and mitigate the effects of menopause in women which could minimize the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Many foods naturally boost estrogen production, including soy, flax seeds, chickpeas, garlic and fruit like apricots. Women in particular also need antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin E, found in berries, citrus fruits, almonds, raw cacao, Brazil nuts and many leafy green vegetables.

These are first steps, for women and for doctors. But the more we learn about what kicks off and accelerates dementia, the clearer it becomes that we need to take better care of women’s brains. A comprehensive evaluation of women’s health demands thorough investigations of the aging brain, the function of estrogen in protecting it and strategies to prevent Alzheimer’s in women specifically.
No one needs to be reminded that many things make a woman unique. We are working to help make sure that the risk of Alzheimer’s is not one of them.

Lisa Mosconi is the associate director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College and the author of “Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power.”

NATIONAL WOMEN’S HEALTH WEEK

May 13th marks the beginning of Women’s Health Week, with a goal to empower women to make their health a priority. So often women put their own needs and issues aside to care for others, and this week serves as a reminder to encourage women to take steps to improve their own health. What are you going to do to take care of yourself today? This week? This month?
First, take a moment to just stop, breathe, and relax. Take time to smell the roses. Now, take time this week to visit your doctor for a checkup and any preventative screenings it may be time for. Get active, eat healthy, and don’t forget about your mental health, too! Get ample sleep and manage your stress. Avoid smoking, don’t text while driving, and always wear your seatbelt or bicycle helmet.

At Advanced Hormone Solutions, we can help you manage they symptoms of several conditions including menopause, perimenopause, and weight-loss resistance. It is time for all women to understand their options when it comes to seizing control of their quality of life. For more information, read our article “The Long and Misunderstood History of Hormone Replacement Therapy on our website at www.AdvancedHormoneSolutions.com/press-releases.

Take this month to focus on you! Call us today at 201-225-2525 to schedule your free consultation and get back to feeling like your best you!

Parkinson’s Disease and Hormone Replacement Therapy

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Parkinson’s Disease is estimated to afflict seven to ten million people worldwide, and approximately one million people in the U.S. Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive movement disorder which occurs when part of the brain deteriorates due to dopamine deficiency. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that impacts movement, emotional response, and the ability to feel pleasure. The severity of Parkinson’s differs from person to person and there is no current cure, but researchers are hopeful.

Many early-onset Parkinson’s patients have seen benefits from Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy.  Testosterone pellets have been found to decrease inflammation in the brain which enables men and women with Parkinson’s Disease to exercise. Estradiol pellets can help restore dopamine production, which results in increased functionality and a slowed progression of the disease. Patients have also reported experiencing more mobility, diminished depression, and even a reduction in medications.  BHRT has shown to help patients stay motivated to exercise more, which in itself increases the vitality and energy needed to keep active.

A study published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine in 2007 suggests that exercise may slow the progression of the disease. Regular exercise may also reduce anxiety, increase confidence, offer more social interaction, and provide a distraction, which makes sense as exercise increases blood calcium levels which are known to increase dopamine production in the brain.

For more information on how BHRT can help alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, or how we can help with several other issues, give us a call at 201-225-2525 to schedule your consultation.  We look forward to getting you back on track.

Why Women Need Testosterone

Did you know normally functioning ovaries produce testosterone and estrogen? Most people are familiar with testosterone as a male sex hormone but, just like estrogen, it’s responsible for more than just sexual activity. Generally speaking, hormones are chemicals that regulate the activity of cells and tissues organs in our bodies. Beyond the development of breasts and reproductive organs, estrogen ensures the function sleep, mood, memory, libido, learning and attention span. Estrogen even controls our perception of pain, bone mass, skin elasticity and blood vessel dilatation.

Women naturally product testosterone to manage libido and sexual response. It also strengths ligaments, builds muscle and bone, assists brain function, behavior, stamina and well-being. Like estrogen, testosterone regulates sleep and prevents cardiovascular problems.

Testosterone is necessary for the physical and mental health of men and women. More and more evidence suggests that the decrease of testosterone, more than the drop in estrogen, is responsible for weight gain, fatigue, loss of mental focus, bone density and muscle definition that is associated with women during middle age.

During menopause, concern is usually paid to the drop in estrogen levels. But “the change” can also causes a decrease in testosterone. It’s most plainly signaled by reduced libido but lower testosterone levels can bring a variety of adverse effects like increased risk of osteoporosis, increased menopausal symptoms (i.e. urinary incontinence and hot flashes), contracting blood vessels and lower blood flow. Female testosterone production is at its highest when a woman is in her 20s. A return to youthful levels of testosterone can mean improvements in your overall well-being and mood.

At Advanced Hormone, we offer our clients the most comprehensive assessment of their hormonal needs. Our tested method provides dosing that is individual to you and your body. We ensure that you get the right amount of testosterone and other hormones are delivered to your body in the most natural and effective way possible. To find out if you many be testosterone deficit and learn more about how hormone therapy may help you call us at 201-225-2525 or fill out our consultation form.

Why SottoPelle® Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) Performs Better Than Other Pellet Methods

Since their introduction in the 1930s, hormone pellets have become known as the safest and most effective form of hormone replacement available. When administered correctly, the pellet provides steady, low dosages of hormone that mimics the activity of the human ovary and testicle. Unlike other delivery methods that supply radical quantities, pellets deliver the right amount of hormones that your body needs. Pellet therapy is almost always safe and convenient, but not all are created equal. At Advanced Hormone Solutions, we’re certified in the SottoPelle® method, offering premium quality and care in pellet development.

The SottoPelle® difference is in the unique personalization and exceptional manufacturing. Supported by years of research and evaluation, SottoPelle® pellets are customized by a proprietary algorithmic-based dosing software. Because these pellets are designed for your body’s needs, they can offer you the best treatment.

Most manufacturers will use fillers and binders that can interfere with absorption of the hormone but SottoPelle® is different. Their pellets are made of 99.9% pure hormone and only 0.1% human fatty acid that bind them. The natural binding method ensures that the pellet does not dissolve too quickly or incorrectly so the patient can achieve the right hormonal balance.

SottoPelle® uses an FDA-regulated 503B manufacturing site, featuring the most advanced manufacturing environment, equipment, training procedures and testing. An expert team of well-trained, licensed pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians help maintain the highest quality. Using the highest quality FDA regulated ingredients, the bioidentical hormones are fused into tiny cylinders. Samples are tested at independent laboratories for proper density, potency, purity, sterility, solubility, rates of disintegration and temperature tolerance.

Our individual customization along with proper testing and diagnosis means you can be sure you’re receiving the best treatment for your needs. To find out more about the SottoPelle® method or how our treatments might be able to help you call us at 201-225-2525 or fill out our consultation form.

New Year, New You

For many people the New Year is a great time to start fresh. It’s a time to start a new hobby, meet new people, or be their happiest self. As you endeavor on your journey to personal renewal, consider some of ways hormonal treatments can guide you towards achieving your resolutions.

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Although diet and exercise are a proven method to shed those holiday pounds, most people don’t consider how their hormones can influence their weight loss efforts. Weight loss resistance is a problem that can be caused by hormonal imbalances in progesterone and estrogen levels. At Advanced Hormone Solution, we offer all natural weight loss products that are proven to increase metabolism and breakdown fat.

If your New Year’s Resolution is to improve your overall physical and mental well-being, hormonal imbalances could be a concern. Hormones play a major role in how our bodies behave and emotional and mental state of mind meaning imbalances can negatively impact our lives in all areas. Issues such as hair loss, fatigue, thyroid disease, weight gain, depression or sexual dysfunction can arise. Whether you’re dealing with menopause, andropause or any other type of hormonal changes, Advanced Hormone Solutions offers treatments

Cold Weather, Hot Flashes

As contradictory as it may seem, cold weather can actually be more to blame for hot flashes than warm weather, all thanks to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. This tiny part at the base of the brain is vital to many functions in the body, including regulating your body temperature.

When the estrogen levels in the body decrease during menopause, it can cause a glitch in the hypothalamus, making it harder to accurately measure and regulate the body’s temperature.  The hypothalamus thinks that the body is too hot or too cold and begins trying to rectify this problem to get the body to a normal temperature.

In the case of hot flashes, the hypothalamus thinks that the body is too hot and needs cooling down. It then sends more blood closer to the surface of the skin, which causes you to become red in the cheeks and feel warm in your face.

Frustrating as this may be, there are some steps that help you manage your symptoms in the colder months:

Dress in layers: Multiple layers of clothing that are easy to put on and take off will make dealing with hot flashes much easier. Dressy tank tops underneath lightweight, button-down sweaters or cardigans will allow you to easily remove the warmer garments and get that much-needed cool air against your skin quickly.

Keep a fan nearby: Small, portable fans are an easy and inexpensive way to deal with hot flashes. Tuck one under your desk at work, rather than trying to cool off the entire office.  Getting the air flowing in your own personal corner may help you survive the next hot flash without annoying your co-workers.

Dress lightly for bed: Rather than going to sleep in flannel pajamas, wear something lightweight and breathable to bed. Keep the bedroom cool and layer on smaller blankets that are easy to remove if hot flashes and night sweats kick in.

Keep holiday stress to a minimum: Colder months are also packed with shopping lists, holiday parties, and an endless list of to-dos. Stress is a common hot flash trigger so cutting your list this winter may help reduce the number of hot flashes you experience.

If you’re needing a little bit of extra help managing your hot flashes, call our office at 201-225-2525 to schedule a free consultation.  Our Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help get your internal thermostat back on track.

Beating Stress this Holiday Season

The holidays are meant to be a joyful, happy time.  Too often the season devolves into a time crunch with a seemingly endless list of tasks to complete, gifts to purchase, and unreasonable expectations.

We’ve put together a list of 5 simple, easy-to-do ways to help manage that stress this season so maybe, just maybe, you get to enjoy the festivities with your family.

1: Take a sunny day hike!

Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin and helps relieve the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Spend time outdoors or near a sunny window.  If you need even more, look into phototherapy, a treatment using a box that emits a full-spectrum light.

2: Take a deep breath!

Citrus fragrances have been found to boost feelings of well-being and alleviate stress by raising levels of norepinephrine.  Dab a little lemon or orange essential oil on a handkerchief and keep in in your pocket for an all-day pick-me-up.

3:  Walk away from your worries!

Much like the sunny hike mentioned above, the rhythm of walking in any weather has a calming effect on your brain and can decrease anxiety and improve sleep.

4:  Just a little pinch!

There’s a fleshy spot between your index finger and thumb.  Applying pressure for 30 seconds can reduce stress and tension in your upper body.  Give your hand a squeeze and take a deep breathe.

5:  Dip into some honey!

Honey has a myriad of health benefits, including giving us an instant kick when we need it.  It’s antioxidant and antibacterial properties may improve immunity.  Remember, the darker the honey, the more powerful the punch.

Following the steps above can help prevent stress and depression that can accompany the holiday hustle and bustle.  With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy during the holidays.

World Menopause Day – October 18th

This year, the World Menopause Campaign has chosen the overall theme of “Midlife Health in the 21st Century,” which focuses on common problems in perimenopause. In the leading up to menopause (perimenopause), you may experience several signs and symptoms, including:

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain and slowed metabolism
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Loss of breast fullness

Menopause requires no medical treatment and is a natural part of aging. Instead, treatments focus on relieving your signs and symptoms, and preventing or managing chronic conditions that may occur with aging.  Hormone Therapy is the most effective treatment option for relieving menopausal hot flashes.  Your doctor may recommend estrogen to provide symptom relief, which also helps prevent bone loss.  Bioidentical Hormones are those that come from plant sources.  The hormones are chemically identical to those your body naturally produces.  Starting hormones around the time of menopause has shown benefits for many women.

Before starting on any form of treatment, talk with your doctor about your options and benefits involved with each treatment.  Review your options early, as your needs may change.

To schedule your consultation to see which treatment may be best for you, call us at 201-225-2525.  Let’s get you on the path to being your best you!

Sleep Disorders and Hormone Imbalance

Insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep.  Sleep disorders like insomnia are common in menopause, but can also hit well before your period stops in the phase known as perimenopause.  Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy can help you get better, higher-quality sleep.

Sleep is incredibly important to our bodies.  This is when the body takes time to repair, detoxify, regulate hormones, correct chemical imbalances, adjust blood sugar levels, store memories, and much more.  If we cannot regulate our hormones, we cannot get restful sleep and all the other processes of sleep begin to fail.

In order for your body to get quality sleep, you must enter Rapid Eye Movement.  This is when the body is at its most restful and restorative.  If you do not spend enough time in REM each night, you may begin to experience hormonal disruptions.

Keeping your bedroom cool, having a fan to manage possible hot flashes, managing stress, and exercising are all good tactics for fighting insomnia during perimenopause.  Sticking to a bedtime and waketime schedule can also help.

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy can get at the root cause of all of your symptom and help alleviate the ones that lead to insomnia in the first place.

If you are experiencing Insomnia, we can help.  Call us today at 201-225-2525 to schedule your free consultation.  We can have you on your way to a restful sleep in no time.

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