Osteocalcin, ovarian senescence, and brain health

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Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology


Menopause, an inevitable event in a woman's life, significantly increases risk of bone resorption and diseases such as Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, cardiac arrest, and stroke. The sole role of bones, as traditionally regarded, is to provide structural support for skeletal muscles and allow for ambulation, however this concept is becoming quickly outdated. New literature has emerged that suggests the bone cell-derived hormone osteocalcin (OCN) plays a pivotal role in cognition. OCN levels are correlated with bone mass density and bone turnover, and thus are strongly influenced by the changes associated with menopause. The goal of the current review is to discuss potential gaps in our knowledge of OCN and cognition, discrepancies in methods of OCN quantification, and therapies to enhance circulating OCN. A discussion on implementing exercise or low frequency vibration interventions at the menopausal transition to reduce risk and severity of neurological diseases and associated cognitive decline is included.

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