Monday, June 25, 2007

Study to Assess Hormone Therapy Before Menopause

(HealthDay News) -- Researchers at eight locations across the United States plan to examine the safety and effectiveness of estrogen therapy during perimenopause, the few years just prior to menopause.

The KEEPS (Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study), led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin (UW) School of Medicine and Public Health, will evaluate the effect that four years of estrogen therapy has on mood and cognition in 720 healthy perimenopausal women.

"There has been a tremendous amount of important and valuable research done on the positive and negative health effects of therapy using estrogen in menopausal women," study leader Sanjay Asthana, head of the UW Section of Geriatrics and Gerontology and director of the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, said in a prepared statement.

"It is my belief that this study will go a long way in helping us understand the complexity of estrogen and related hormones in humans. It is critical that we continue to systematically address all of the clinical issues concerning estrogen treatment and its effects on diseases like Alzheimer's," Asthana said.

The $3.4 million study will be funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Among its objectives, KEEPS will compare an arm patch that delivers a natural, human form of estrogen to the commonly used oral form of estrogen synthesized from animal sources.

Other goals include determining the best way to counteract the adverse effects of estrogen on the lining of the uterus and investigating which hormone therapy best mimics the menstrual cycle.

More information
The American Medical Association has more about hormone therapy.

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