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Stress Response and Neural Network Function in Women with Vasomotor Symptoms

This clinical research study aims to advance the health of postmenopausal women by studying how the brain and body respond to stress in women with and without vasomotor symptoms (VMS; hot flashes, night sweats). By framing VMS as a chronic stress condition, investigators can assess if differences in how the brain and body function reflect a mechanism through which stress influences VMS. Investigators will answer these questions in a longitudinal study assessing individual responses to a mild stressor and using state-of-the-art functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).

Investigators will recruit midlife women who have experienced naturally occurring menopause to volunteer as research participants. This study will be integrated with Project Viva, a longstanding cohort study that includes women who are currently in midlife, and in which the Population Science project is embedded.

Research participants will be recruited both from within Project Viva and from the Greater Boston community. Participation will include one in-person study visit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, as well as completing at-home questionnaires every 4 months during a 2-year follow-up period. Enrollment from the Greater Boston community is expected to begin Fall 2020. When recruitment begins, more information can be found here.

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