More healthy and productive years for peri-menopausal women

Funding: NWO
Project duration: 2023-2031

Some women pass the menopause without any complaints, while other women experience many physical and/or psychological complaints during this period. These complaints often have major consequences for life at home or at work. The MenoPause consortium aims to ensure that all women around the menopause and beyond remain as healthy as possible and can participate fully in social life. Doctors, researchers, lifestyle experts and menopausal women work together within the consortium. We will map the complaints and adverse consequences of menopause in women of different backgrounds. We also determine how we can best prevent these consequences. 

The Applied Nanotechnology group is part of the MenoPause consortium. We focus on the better understanding of the pathophysiology of accelerated perimenopausal bone loss. We further develop optimal lifestyle and pharmaceutical strategies to prevent perimenopausal accelerated bone loss. 

We will use quantitative methodologies in data analyses of large existing population cohorts of diverse ethnicity in search for women with accelerated perimenopausal bone loss and endocrine predictors of the onset of accelerated perimenopausal bone loss (objective 1). In these cohorts, longterm follow-up and extensive characterisation is available for women during the menopausal transition facilitating retrospective data analysis over a longer time period with adequate power to allow identification of new predictors. We will use state-of-the-art microfluidic models of human bone forming and bone resorbing cells in co-cultures to study the effects of hormone dynamics on bone metabolism (objective 2). To study pathophysiological mechanisms, human cell culture models are an important tool to allow better translation to the clinical situation in comparison to animal models. Microfluidic models more closely resemble the in vivo situation in human bone in comparison to conventional 2D cell culture models. We will perform clinical intervention studies in perimenopausal women to investigate the preventive effect of exercise and hormone supplements on accelerated bone loss (objective 3). Intervention studies are pivotal to prove the efficacy of proposed treatments. 

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Project members ANT:

Petra Juffer
Project leader

Tessa Bouwmeester
Junior Researcher

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