Medial frontal cortex perfusion abnormalities as evaluated by positron emission tomography in women with climacteric symptoms

Tetsuro Abe, Daniel Bereczki, Yasuo Takahashi, Manabu Tashiro, Ren Iwata, Masatoshi Itoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To identify functional changes in the brains of women with climacteric symptoms. Images of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were compared statistically between women with and women without symptoms to identify changes in rCBF. Results may provide a better understanding of the neural basis of the symptoms, which are divided into three symptom clusters: vasomotor, psychological, and somatic. DESIGN: The study participants consisted of 12 women with moderate to severe climacteric symptoms (age 47.5 ± 5.9 years, mean ± SD) and 7 women with no symptoms (control group; age 49.6 ± 4.2 years, mean ± SD). The study participants were patients at a menopause clinic, and the latter were healthy volunteer nurses and hospital staff. Climacteric symptoms were evaluated by an assessment of the severity of 17 symptoms immediately before positron emission tomography examination of rCBF. The symptoms had been used previously to generate the Kupperman Kohnenki Shogai Index, a modified Kupperman Menopausal Index adapted to Japanese women. rCBF was measured by positron emission tomography with the CO2 dynamic inhalation method. RESULTS: Reductions in relative rCBF in the patient group were observed in the bilateral rectal gyrus and in the left subcallosal gyrus on a voxel-by-voxel basis as compared with the control group. CONCLUSIONS: The present study revealed reductions in relative rCBF of the prefrontal cortex of Japanese women with moderate to severe climacteric symptoms. This area is close to that previously addressed in studies of familial bipolar depression and familial unipolar depression, although our participants did not satisfy criteria for depression. This reduction of rCBF may be related to the three climacteric symptom clusters, but further studies are needed for evaluation of its significance. Our results should stimulate investigations into the positron emission tomography rCBF change of these women as to the integration of multiple entities in climacteric symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-901
Number of pages11
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Nov


  • Climacteric symptoms
  • Menopause
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Regional cerebral blood flow


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