Best abstracts Greenblatt award

In Wednesday's afternoon session we listened to 6 abstract presentations shortlisted for the Greenblatt award. Robert B. Greenblatt, co-founder and first President of the International Menopause Society, originally conceived the idea of awarding prizes to the two junior researchers who present the best abstracts in the field of the menopause.

There are two prizes each of £2500, for the best papers presented, in either basic research or clinical work.

Cerebrovascular resistance is an early marker of slow gait and cognitive deficits in overweight postmenopausal women - Rachel Wong

Rachel's research examined baseline associations between adiposity, cerebrovascular function, cognition and gait in postmenopausal women enrolled in an intervention trial. 

Results found that poor cerebrovascular function led to gait slowing and therefore higher fall rate. As well as this, poor processing speed was associated with gait slowing. Visceral adipose tissue was associated with poor cognitive function. Risk factors included age, hypertension, obesity and diabetes.

Targeting these risk factors from mid-life may be a useful target for dementia prevention and slowing of gait in old age.

Subjective memory complaint is associated with cerebrovascular dysfunction in healthy older women - Jay Jay Thaung Zaw

Due to the success of healthcare in the past century many people are now living with dementia. By 2050 it is predicted there will 132 million people living with the disease.

Jay Jay explored the relationship between subjective memory complaint SMC), cerebrovascular dysfunction and depression with regards to dementia.

SMC was associated with depressive symptoms. Cerebrovascular dysfunction is associated with increasing SMC scores, reflecting early cognitive decline. Therefore, maintaining optimal cerebrovascular function is crucial for delaying the onset of cognitive impairment.

Testosterone restores the bladder and urethra alteration of ovariectomized rats independently of the genomic pathway - Sandra Bonilla

Sandra and her team evaluated the effects of testosterone on the contractile responses of bladder and urethra isolated from 4-month ovariectomized rats to mimic menopause.

They found the protective effect of testosterone in preventing the alterations of bladder and urethra smooth muscle contractions by ovariectomy did not involve the activation classical genomic pathway through androgen receptors.

Evaluation of the body mass index of postmenopausal women and their relation to sexual dysfunction - Gustavo Dutra da Silva

The objective of Gustavo's study was to evaluate the sexual function of post-menopausal women with a BMI >30. 1,100 women were interviewed for sexual function at a number of sites; the results were then analysed against the BMI scores.

Overweight and obese women did not present more sexual dysfunction compared to those with normal BMI. However, overweight and obese women did have significantly lower satisfaction.  

NK3R antagonist reduces flush frequency and alters connectivity in the salience network - Jenifer Sassarini

Hot flushes are very common in menopausal women and persist much longer than initially thought. Despite this, little is known about the exact underlying mechanism.

Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), a rise in brainstem activity has been shown to precede a detectable onset of a flush, suggesting pre-flush may have brainstem functional origin, and activity in the insula and prefrontal cortices

Jenifer's demonstrated that an antagonist (MLE4901) of Neurokinin B, a peptide that has been shown to induce hot flushes in pre-menopausal women, reduces self-reported hot flushes. Interestingly, objective hot flushes were not affected. This suggests that the inter-neural network involved is a key player in external and internal perception.

Constipation and diarrhoea during the menopause transition and early post-menopause: observations from the Seattle Midlife Women’s Health Study - Nini Callan

Nini's objective was to assess the relationship of constipation and diarrhoea severity during the menopause transition.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that gut function requires a finely tuned balance between a number of factors - sex hormones, microbiota and the CNS. In women, some of these factors are subject to change during the menopause transition.

Interestingly, Nini's team found that key reproductive hormones do not play a significant role in constipation or diarrhoea severity in the MT. In contrast, stress perception, tension, and cortisol do. These factors may be evaluated in further research involving constipation and diarrhoea.