Advances in Menopause Hormone Therapy (MHT) to Offer Safer Future for Women
Posted by Arslan on December 21st, 2018
Major advancements in the menopause hormone therapy (MHT) point at a better and safer future care for women at and post-menopause stage. Principal advances such as the preference for transdermal over oral administration of estrogen for reducing risk associated with venous thromboembolism are likely to enable women with symptom-free menopause and safer MHT in the near future.
Primary aim behind menopause research approaches is the development of knowledge and identification of interventions that strive promotion, sustenance, and enhancement of well-being for women. While vasomotor symptoms have been recognized as main complaint during climacteric, phytoestrogens and HRT are considered as key therapies. Hormone replacement therapy used for treatment and management of menopause worldwide is foreseen to exceed US$ 8,000 Mn in 2018.
MHT’s Benefits for the Brain to Drive Demand
A study published in the medical journal of American Academy of Neurology unveils that intake of hormones post-menopause not only complements alleviation of unpleasant symptoms of menopause, but also benefits the brain. It has also been associated with reduction in development of amyloid plaques, which can lead to memory loss.
These findings are underpinned by measurements of brain lesions accumulation, compared scores on memory and thinking tests, and determination of the overall brain volume. However more research is required for determining the biological reasons behind changes in brain during menopausal hormone therapy. Researchers who compiled this study are also working on impacts of different hormonal products, skin patches vs. pills, on the brain.
New Drugs Under Development to Reduce Severity & Frequency of Hot Flushes
Scientists at the Imperial College, London, have been working on the development of new range of experimental drugs for reducing complications related to hot flushes in women at menopause phase. This research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), focuses on in-depth study of data gathered from relevant clinical trials.
For a significant number of women, hot flushes continue to remain a major menopausal challenge. These new experimental compounds, such as MLE4901, are claimed effective in blocking actions of the brain chemical – neurokinin B (NKB). These new drugs have also shown effective improvements in daytime flushing symptoms. Researchers are further working on influence of these compounds on sleep as well as concentration pathways in brain.
Cardiovascular Benefits & Risks of MHT
Several uncertainties and challenges have been witness related to use of the menopausal hormone therapy over the past few years. Recent studies such as Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS) have failed to deem beneficial impacts of estrogen combined with progestin and exogenous estrogen in prevention of cardiovascular disorders. On the contrary, more recent studies have introduced the concept – “window of opportunity,” wherein the use of MHT post-onset of menopause are expected to result in favorable cardio-protective outcomes.
Despite proliferation in wealth of clinical data, MHT is not recommended for primary/secondary prevention of the coronary heart disease, and more research is required into understanding risk-benefit balance of MHT. Women across the globe, particularly in developed and developing nations are becoming more aware about non-hormonal therapies for management of vasomotor symptoms related to early and peri-menopause, as well as for reducing cardiovascular risk by leading a healthy lifestyle.
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