The Estrogenic Regulation of Muscle Apoptosis - ERMA study



Menopause, occurring naturally in aging women, relates to many changes in physical and psychological function. Women going through menopause are more prone to negative changes in body composition and muscular performance than women taking hormone replacement or men of the same age. Over the years, these changes may lead to decreased muscle strength and mass (sarcopenia) and predispose women to many noncommunicable diseases and functional disabilities.

The ERMA study aims to discover the changes that occur in body composition and muscle performance during the transitional phase between pre-menopause and post-menopause. Moreover, the study investigates how the factors affecting psychological performance relate to the changes occurring during hormonal aging.

Over 80% of 47–55 year old women living in the  Jyväskylä region were invited to participate in the study. The invitations were sent to women randomly selected from the civil register. Participants visited the University of Jyväskylä’s laboratories to determine the stage of menopause, body composition, strength,  and cognition. A sub-sample of the participants continued to a follow-up study which monitored women’s menopausal transition and investigated  how hormonal aging affects functional capacity.

The multidisciplinary ERMA study was carried out in the Gerontology Research Center in the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä. In addition to principal investigators and senior researchers, a remarkable number of students and laboratory staff works on the project.

Academy of Finland 2014–2018 (V Kovanen) and 2017–2022 (E Laakkonen)
Juho Vainio Foundation 2016–2018 (E Laakkonen)
EU Horizon 2020 / PANINI (S Sipilä)
Ministry of Education and Culture 2018–2021 (K Kokko)

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