Gabapentin, a drug initially used to treat seizures, improves sleep quality in menopausal women with hot flashes, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers report online and in the September issue of the Journal of Women's Health. Approximately 40 percent of menopausal women experience sleep disruption, often in the form of difficulty with sleep initiation and frequent nighttime awakenings. The study is the first to show sustained benefits in sleep quality from gabapentin, which Rochester researchers already have demonstrated alleviates hot flashes. "Gabapentin improves sleep quality but does not have the potential dependency problems of some other sleep medications and does not involve the use of hormone replacement therapy, " said Michael E.
Animal studies suggest that adding flaxseed oil to the diet could reduce the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and women with diabetes, according to a report to be published in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health. Mer Harvi and colleagues at the National Research Center, in Cairo, Egypt, have studied the effect of diabetes on bone health and evaluated how flaxseed oil in the diet might delay the onset of osteoporosis. The researchers studied 70 female albino rats of which 30 had their ovaries removed (ovx) to simulate the post-menopausal state and experimental diabetes was present in one group of rodents.
Marilyn Graham was 56 when she signed up for a grueling hour of cycling each morning for 12 weeks, occasionally decked out in a mask, a heart monitor and a bag of intravenous fluid and subjected to needle pricks to obtain blood samples. "I was probably the biggest whiner of the group, complaining loudly about the seats and how my butt hurt, " said Graham, who writes software for business units on the University of California, Berkeley campus. "It was really intense, and on some days my legs felt like wet noodles. On a cranky day I'd say, 'Let me off this stupid bike! '" But once the training "kicked in, " she said, " I was feeling good.
Women who take hormone replacement therapy are nearly twice as likely to die from lung cancer, according to a study published in the journal Lancet, the Los Angeles Times reports. The study expands on the initial results of the landmark Women's Health Initiative. One finding of the WHI was that a combination treatment of estrogen and progestin might have an effect on lung cancer. The WHI, which involved more than 16, 000 women, also aimed to explore the benefits of combined estrogen and progestin therapy on menopause symptoms and whether it could lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. However, researchers ended the HRT portion of the study prematurely after about five-and-one-half years when they found that the treatment increased the risk for breast cancer, heart disease and stroke.
The largest study in the world of treatments for post menopausal, hormone positive breast cancer has shown that patients who continue to take exemestane or tamoxifen do significantly better than patients who start to take one or other drug (or tamoxifen followed exemestane) but then stop. Professor Cornelis van de Velde, principal investigator at the central data office for TEAM (tamoxifen exemestane adjuvant multinational) trial told Europe's largest cancer congress, ECCO 15 - ESMO 34 , in Berlin on 22 September that differences in compliance between the nine countries involved in the trial shed light on the role that it played in patient outcome.
New research has found that switching post-menopausal women with early breast cancer to the drug exemestane (Aromasin) after two or three years of tamoxifen rather than keeping them on tamoxifen for five years improves the chance of remaining cancer free and reduces the risk of death for at least the next six years. "These findings have confirmed that the strategy of switching to exemestane mid-way through the five-year tamoxifen treatment plan provides a clear and durable benefit for relapse and overall survival, " the study's leader, Professor Charles Coombes, head of oncology at Imperial College in London, told Europe's largest cancer congress, ECCO 15 - ESMO 34 , in Berlin on 22 September.