Research provides new insights into menopause and weight gain

Can women in menopause get the benefits of hormone replacement therapy without the risks? Anew UCLA study conducted with mice points in that direction, but additional research is necessary.Women commonly experience hot flashes and weight gain, among other changes, during and after menopause. Hormone therapy, which gives women additional estrogen, can help alleviate some of these symptoms, but it has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and breast cancer.UCLA life scientists now report that a gene called reprimo, which is expressed by certain neurons in the brain, may play a role in menopause-related weight gain, a phenomenon not linked to increased eating. Their findings are published today in the journal Nature Metabolism.“We want to figure out which neurons are mediating the beneficial portions of hormone therapy and mimic them without hormones,” said senior author Stephanie Correa, a UCLA assistant professor of integrative biology and physiology  and a member ofUCLA's Brain Research Institute. “Hormone therapy can be beneficial, but it treats the entire brain and body with hormones. We may be able to bypass the hormone. That’s our goal, and it's a big one. We haven't achieved it yet, but we're learning.”Correa and her research team show that the reprimo gene is important for regulating temperature. Changes in temperature are known to affect body weight and may contribute to the weight gain often seen in menopause.&ldquo...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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