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Fertil Steril. 2006 Mar;85(3):674-8.

Cortical activation during menopausal hot flashes.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA. aa2613@wayne.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine regions of brain activation associated with menopausal hot flashes and sweating.

DESIGN:

Controlled laboratory study.

SETTING:

University medical center.

PATIENT(S):

Symptomatic postmenopausal women and asymptomatic eumenorrheic women.

INTERVENTION(S):

None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Brain activation measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULT(S):

Significant (P<.001) areas of activation during hot flashes in symptomatic women included the insula and anterior cingulate cortex. Sweating in the eumenorrheic women was associated (P<.001) with activity in the anterior cingulate and superior frontal gyrus.

CONCLUSION(S):

Activation of the insular cortex is associated with the "rush of heat" described during menopausal hot flashes. Thermoregulation in humans appears to be represented in a distributed cortico-subcortical network rather than in a single localized structure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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