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Grant Abstract

Grant Number: 1R21AT003476-01
Project Title: CNS mechanisms of black cohosh in menopause

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Menopause begins to affect American women in their early 50's. Many women at this age experience a variety of vasomotor, vaginal, and psychological symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbance, anxiety, irritability, depression, vaginal dryness, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, and forgetfulness. Limited medical treatments are available to relieve these symptoms, some with severe adverse effects. Instead, many women have turned to botanical dietary supplements. Black cohosh is the most commonly used botanical dietary supplement for the relief of menopausal symptoms in the United States and many other regions. The mechanism of action of black cohosh is not entirely understood. We hypothesize that black cohosh can act through CNS systems to exhibit beneficial effects in menopause. In this application, we propose to test the hypothesis by examining the affinity and functional activity of several chemically characterized black cohosh extracts (BCE) at the y-aminobutyric acid (GABA), opiate, and dopamine receptors. Data gained from these studies will provide a foundation that will ultimately lead to novel approaches for preventing and controlling menopausal symptoms.

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