Estrogen, Menopause, and the Brain Research

The overarching goal of this program is to conduct clinical research studies that seek to understand the mechanisms behind changes in cognition and behavior that occur in women after menopause. Menopause produces significant and sustained changes in the levels of sex hormones (e.g. estrogen) that have profound effects on brain functioning and may produce changes in mood, memory, and learning. These changes may account for gender-related differences between older women and men, especially regarding rates of neurodegenerative disorders, some of which tend to be higher in women (e.g. Alzheimer's disease).

The studies utilized intensive, repeated-measures designs focusing on the effects of neuropharmacologic probes combined with sophisticated cognitive testing, functional brain imaging, and behavioral paradigms in older women. Most of the studies take place at the University of Vermont Clinical Research Center (CRC). Please see this article for a description of our newest funded grant from the National Institutes on Aging.

Contact Julie Dumas, Ph.D., (802) 847-2523 for more information.



  • Julie Dumas, Ph.D.
  • James Boyd, M.D.
  • Jay Kikut, M.D.
  • Elizabeth McGee, M.D.
  • Alexandra Potter, Ph.D.
  • Bruno Soares, M.D.

We are most grateful for the enthusiastic participation of our post-menopausal women volunteers, without whom none of this research could take place.