Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit
"Because I have grandparents who had dementia, I wanted to take part in this study on memory and hormones at the University of Vermont. I was happy to participate in the hopes that more will be learned about aging and memory. Everyone involved was friendly, considerate, and great to work with. Overall it was a wonderful, exciting experience - I was able to expand my knowledge while feeling like I was helping others. I would do it again in a heartbeat."
Estrogen, Menopause, and the Brain Research Program
The overarching goal of this program is to conduct clinical research studies that seek to understand the mechanisms behind changes in cognition and behavior that occur in women after menopause. Menopause produces significant and sustained changes in the levels of sex hormones (e.g. estrogen) that have profound effects on brain functioning and may produce changes in mood, memory, and learning. These changes may account for gender-related differences between older women and men, especially regarding rates of neurodegenerative disorders, some of which tend to be higher in women (e.g. Alzheimer's disease).
The studies utilized intensive, repeated-measures designs focusing on the effects of neuropharmacologic probes combined with sophisticated cognitive testing, functional brain imaging, and behavioral paradigms in older women. Most of the studies take place at the University of Vermont General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) and Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA).
We are most grateful for the enthusiastic participation of our post-menopausal women volunteers, without whom none of this research could take place.
Faculty and staff involved in this research program include: