Navigation Links
What Causes Hot Flashes? Rat Study Gives New Clues
Date:12/20/2012

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists are getting warmer in their attempts to zero in on what causes hot flashes, intense surges of heat and sweating that affect millions of middle-aged women in the years leading to menopause.

Studying rats, researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, in Tucson, have pinpointed a small region of the brain that may go awry during typical hot flashes, finding that a certain set of neurons acts as a virtual control switch for the problem when estrogen levels drop.

"I think the idea is to develop some alternate treatments for hot flashes, but how could we possibly develop appropriate treatments if we don't know what causes them?" said study author Dr. Naomi Rance, a neuropathologist, professor and associate head of pathology at the university. "This is the first evidence these neurons have anything to do with [heat] regulation."

Scientists note, however, that research with animals often fails to provide similar results in humans.

The study appeared recently in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

An estimated 70 percent of women -- along with some men -- experience hot flashes, and previous research indicated the flashes originated in the hypothalamus, a section of the brain serving as the "switchboard" between hormone signals and the central nervous system.

University of Pittsburgh scientists published a study earlier this year showing that the parasympathetic nervous system -- part of the autonomic nervous system, which regulates unconscious bodily functions such as heart rate and breathing -- isn't working as efficiently as normal during a hot flash.

In the new research, Rance and her colleagues created an animal model of menopause by using a toxin to deactivate a group of brain cells known as KNDy (pronounced "candy") neurons in rats. After these neurons were deactivated, the rats' tail skin temperature consistently lowered, suggesting that the neurons control the widening of the blood vessels known as vasodilation that lead to hot flashes by increasing blood flow to the skin. The rats' tail skin temperature rose after removal of their ovaries, which produce estrogen.

"Hot flashes are really episodic vasodilation," Rance explained. "You can see it -- that's why people get red, because blood rises to the surface of the skin. Flushing is the body trying to get rid of that heat. Their core temperature is normal, so it doesn't make sense at all."

Current treatment for hot flashes includes estrogen replacement therapy, which is controversial because of potential health risks, including higher odds of certain cancers. Another option is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are traditionally used to treat depression.

Although the current research helps identify the basic biologic mechanism behind hot flashes, it may be years before scientists are able to develop new choices for treating them, Rance said.

Dr. Jill Rabin, chief of ambulatory care and obstetrics and gynecology at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., praised Rance's study as "groundbreaking and very well done."

"The study is done in rats, so it's really hard to [translate the results] into people, but it's very, very interesting," said Rabin, who also is head of urogynecology. "This issue has been looked at for a long time and this may open the way, possibly, for a study in humans."

More information

The National Women's Health Network offers more information about hot flashes.

SOURCES: Naomi Rance, M.D., Ph.D., neuropathologist, and professor and associate head of pathology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson; Jill Rabin, M.D., chief, ambulatory care, obstetrics and gynecology, and head of urogynecology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Nov. 27, 2012, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. What causes hot flushes during menopause?
2. Demand for One-Stop-Shop Dental Services Causes The Dentists Melbourne to Expand Their Team
3. Gene that causes tumor disorder linked to increased breast cancer risk
4. Seattle Childrens Research Institute helps identify causes of sagittal craniosynostosis
5. Faulty development of immature brain cells causes hydrocephalus
6. LA BioMeds Dr. Richard Casaburi investigates causes of COPD
7. Smoking causes asthma in second generation offspring
8. Key discovered to how chemotherapy drug causes heart failure
9. Tracking environmental causes of good and bad health
10. Staying Home With Sick Kids Causes Job Worries for Parents: Survey
11. In obesity, a micro-RNA causes metabolic problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
What Causes Hot Flashes? Rat Study Gives New Clues
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “Code Word: Chocolate Biscuit”: a biographical account following a man who went on ... of published author, Marlyn Ivey, born in Lynn Haven, Florida and at the age of ... 19 years of age, he joined the Navy and got married right out of boot ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... D R Burton Healthcare Products LLC, ... featured in a study indicating superior performance against competitive products in secretion clearance. ... Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure Devices During Simulated Breathing“ was published in the winter ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... ... enchanting tale that teaches children the true meaning of Christmas. “Journey to Christmas” is the ... devoted woman of faith. , “Becoming a parent changes you. In my case, the ... years, but actually doing it might have been a while in coming if it hadn’t ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... , ... “The Land of More and More”: a brilliant story for ... shares the simple and achievable answer. “The Land of More and More” is the ... Church in Angola, Indiana where he works with the children’s ministry department. , ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced ... Models (APMs) in 2017. Clinicians who participate in APMs are paid for the quality ... the Administration’s effort to build a system that delivers better care and one in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Amplifiers, Diagnostic Instruments), Sales Volume, Company Analysis and Forecast to ... ... Volume, Company Analysis and Forecast to 2022 provides a comprehensive ... The growing prevalence of hearing impairment coupled with an expanding ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017  Palladian Health, ... has announced the launch of an opioid management ... guidelines on opioids and helps stem the growing ... often prescribed to treat chronic non-cancer pain (back ... serious risks and lack of evidence regarding long-term ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 Germany Cataract Surgery ... new report, "Germany Cataract Surgery Devices Market Outlook to ... Surgery Devices market. The report provides value, in millions ... (USD) within market segements - Phacoemulsification Equipment and Ophthalmic ... shares and distribution shares data for each of these ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: