Long-term effects of bilateral oophorectomy on brain aging: Unanswered questions from the Mayo Clinic cohorts study of oophorectomy and aging

Walter A. Rocca, Lynne T. Shuster, Brandon R. Grossardt, Demetrius M. Maraganore, Bobbie S. Gostout, Yonas E. Geda, L. Joseph Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the Mayo Clinic Cohort Study of Oophorectomy and Aging, women who had both ovaries removed before reaching natural menopause experienced a long-term increased risk of parkinsonism, cognitive impairment or dementia, and depressive and anxiety symptoms. Here, we discuss five possible mechanistic interpretations of the observed associations; first, the associations may be non-causal because they result from the confounding effect of genetic variants or of other risk factors; second, the associations may be mediated by an abrupt reduction in levels of circulating estrogen; third, the associations may be mediated by an abrupt reduction in levels of circulating progesterone or testosterone; fourth, the associations may be mediated by an increased release of gonadotropins by the pituitary gland; and fifth, genetic variants may modify the hormonal effects of bilateral oophorectomy through simple or more complex interactions. Results from other studies are cited as evidence for or against each possible mechanism. These putative causal mechanisms are probably intertwined, and their clarification is a research priority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalWomen's Health
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Estrogen
  • Gonadotropins
  • Menopause
  • Oophorectomy
  • Parkinsonism
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term effects of bilateral oophorectomy on brain aging: Unanswered questions from the Mayo Clinic cohorts study of oophorectomy and aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this