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http://research.wayne.edu/news.php?id=12018

DETROIT — A new study from neuroscientists at the Wayne State University School of Medicine provides the first novel insights into the neural origins of hot flashes in menopausal women in years. The study may inform and eventually lead to new treatments for those who experience the sudden but temporary episodes of body warmth, flushing and sweating.

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The researchers focused on regions like the brain stem because its sub regions, such as the medullary and dorsal raphe, are implicated in thermal regulation, while forebrain regions, such as the insula, have been implicated in the personal perception of how someone feels. They showed that activity in some brain areas, such as the brain stem, begins to rise before the actual onset of the hot flash.

“Frankly, evidence of fMRI-measured rise in the activity of the brain stem even before women experience a hot flash is a stunning result. When this finding is considered along with the fact that activity in the insula only rises after the experience of the hot flash, we gain some insight on the complexity of brain mechanisms that mediate basic regulatory functions,” Diwadkar said.

These results point to the plausible origins of hot flashes in specific brain regions. The researchers believe it is the first such demonstration in academic literature.

They are now evaluating the network-based interactions between the brain regions by using more complex modeling of the fMRI data. “We think that our study highlights the value of using well-designed fMRI paradigms and analyses in understanding clinically relevant questions,” Diwadkar said.

The researchers also are exploring possibilities for integrating imaging with treatment to examine whether specific pharmacotherapies for menopause might alter regional brain responses.
 

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"wear cool clothes, such as cotton, and try to avoid stress ... "

So much for THAT! Geez. Like women did not KNOW this, for decades? I always have a sort of "aura" before the overheating begins, even.
 

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" I always have a sort of "aura" before the overheating begins, even.
Me too. It's sort of like the mechanism is powering up... and then I'm hit with the full force, which then slowly diminishes. You guys out there are missing out on a real-life experience.

I started hot flushes when I was 35 years old. It got really bad in my early 50s when I actually started menopause. I'm 66 yrs old now and still have hot flushes, although no way as severe as in my 50s. My mother was in her 70s and still had them.
 

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I'm open for tips, if anyone has any. I've been having hot flashes for the past few weeks. My PCP diagnosed it as peri-menopause (turning 40 this week). Some days, they're not too bad, but other days, I feel like I am actually standing on top of the sun, or I wake up from sweating so much. I am having a bit of a time getting through the hot flashes and I've only had them off-and-on for the past couple of weeks. :(
 

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I used to have panic attacks, with the onset of mine, but not so much anymore. I once shoved my husband aside so I could get to the fan, LOL!

Drink ice water, get up and walk around, and wear lots of cotton. And it DOES pass, so do your best to stay calm, NOT that I am some guy patting your hand.
 

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I tried every natural remedy known to woman to treat the hot flushes. NOTHING helped. EXCEPT - flaxseed oil. And lots of it. Didn't take them away but made them bearable. Didn't remove the yucky feelings just before and the feeling of being mentally hit by a two-by-four just as they started up, either. But it did reduce the heat. Was was much better than nothing.
 
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