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Sunday, September 27, 2015

ESTRADIOL levels modulate BRAIN ACTIVITY and negative responses to psychosocial STRESS across MENSTRUAL cycle

The results of this study suggest that, in normally cycling premenopausal women, high Estradiol levels attenuate the Brain activation changes and negative mood response to psychosocial stress.
Brain activity responses to psychosocial stress differed between women in the low versus high estrogen phase of the menstrual cycle: women with high estradiol levels showed significantly less deactivation in limbic regions during psychosocial stress compared to women with low estradiol levels.
This study showed that higher estradiol levels at periovulation were associated with greater hippocampal activity during psychosocial stress in normally cycling premenopausal women.
Greater estradiol levels during the periovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle (a very short duration of time equal to 2—4 days) decrease the brain activity change in response to psychosocial stress, and reduce the acute behavioral and mood consequences of the stress experience.
Please note that these Estradiol levels in pre menopausal women are the extremely highest E levels of the monthly cycle...easily up in the 300 to 400 range or more...and these levels are beneficial for handling stress, while lower levels of E during the rest of the month are NOT.
Additionally, women with higher estradiol levels also had less subjective distress in response to the MIST than women with lower estradiol levels.
Notice this data is derived from the precise moment of a particular routine stress being induced during a particular day of month for the woman and the association between her Estradiol blood levels AND the hippocampal circuit activity resulting when the stress is experienced.....
The study's results suggest that low estradiol levels during the early follicular phase of the menstrual cycle exaggerate the effect of psychosocial stress on brain activity. Women with higher periovulatory estradiol levels also had lower distress scores following the psychosocial stress task
"This study is unique in that that we used a moderate psychosocial stressor in the MRI environment at different menstrual phases, which allowed us to examine both the subjective mood response and brain activity response to the stress task. Also our stress task included social evaluative threat—–a type of stress that may be particularly relevant for mood in women . Our data suggest that estradiol buffers the brain activity changes and nega- tive mood response to psychosocial stress in normally cycling women.…/S0306-4530(15)00…/abstract
The authors state: Estradiol may affect emotional responding through increased top-down modulation of emotional circuitry, including brain areas involved in the stress response, and may be protective against fear and anxiety.
To us, this finding is all the more significant in view of the ongoing bias in the Medical Profession to prevent peri-menopausal women from obtaining higher levels of Estradiol via Replacement equivalent to those of their youth
This odd bias towards menopausal women has also extended to the Hormone Replacement protocols for the currently burgeoning population of those who are labelled as "Transgender" and are deprived of Estradiol levels of younger women, despite their age, and forced into depression, stress, and often suicide by the bizarre prevention of access to sufficient Estradiol to cope with stress properly.
See this recent article in the New York Times which chronicles vividly what happens to women when their Estrogen levels plummet at Menopause for an extended period of time…/18/magazine/18estrogen-t.html…
"Increased emotional processing and physiological response to psychosocial stress, during low estrogen menstrual phases, may contribute to depressed mood in women with vulnerability to MDD. Indeed, women with MDD have greater HPA axis dysregulation than men with MDD suggesting that the stress system may be particularly important to depression in women.
They state: " Estradiol may attenuate sympathetic and HPA axis activity to stress Although our study did not include women with mood disorders, the effect of estradiol on brain activity and mood response to psychosocial stress suggest that periods of low estradiol are associated with heightened negative emotional responding.
"Previous work using the MIST has revealed deactivations during the stress condition of the task, in brain areas that are part of the limbic circuit (including hippocampus, hypotha- lamus, medio-orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex)
Studies have proposed that reduced limbic circuit function is associated, perhaps causally, with the stress response. Additionally, hippocampal deactivation during the stress condition of the MIST has been directly related to cortisol release and inversely correlated with measures of self-esteem, indicating that hippocampal activity is a marker of both the peripheral endocrine response to stress and related to psy- chological vulnerability to psychosocial stress
The further finding that cortisol response to the MIST was associated with prefrontal deactivation agree with animal models showing worse performance on tasks that rely on prefrontal cortex following acute stress
Normal ovarian hormone fluctuations may alter the impact of psychosocially stressful events by presenting periods of increased vulnerability to psychosocial stress during low Estradiol phases of the menstrual cycle. This menstrual cycle—related fluctuation in stress vulnerability may be relevant to the greater risk for affective disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder in women.
For those who can access this link, the full text of the article is available here:…/276151959_Estradiol_Levels_Mo…

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