Milwaukee-area researchers have developed a compound which could lead to new treatments for memory loss in women.
Karyn Frick of UW-Milwaukee, Daniel Sem of Concordia University Wisconsin and William Donaldson of Marquette University created an altered estrogen molecule, which improved memory in test animals with post-menopausal dementia.
“There are multiple forms of estrogen in hormone replacement,” said Frick, a UWM professor of psychology. “Some are beneficial for brain health and some aren’t. Our molecule is a smaller version of the most potent form of estrogen, called estradiol, which is particularly diminished in menopause.”
The three researchers have formed a startup company called Estrigenix Therapeutics, to develop hormone drugs related to estrogen. It’s one of 13 UW-Milwaukee faculty startups.
Women are three times more likely to experience memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease as they age, according to a release from UW-Milwaukee. That’s related to the drop in estrogen that comes during menopause.
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