For Dr. Gillian Einstein
, it's a thrill to know her
work on women's brain health will help people make more informed decisions about their bodies.
"It's really what I always wanted to do.
I always wanted to work on scientific problems that would make a difference," she
Einstein is an Associate Professor with the University of Toronto's Department of Psychology and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
She is also the Director of the Collaborative Graduate Program in Women's Health.
explains, there can be other consequences.
Earlier research has found that women who've had their ovaries removed faced a higher incidence of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
dementias than women who still had their ovaries.
is trying to find out why.
expects to have some definitive results by the end of 2014.
The project will soon allow Einstein
to recruit women prior to their surgeries, and to test them before and after the operation as well as a few years later.
This will establish better benchmarks by which to compare the results.
will also be collaborating with the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest
to do brain imaging as part of her
"I'd very much like women who are electing to have ovaries removed - for very good reasons I might add - to have a full sense of what is going to follow," says Einstein
"They should know that while it will decrease their risk of ovarian cancer, there may also be some cognitive declines."
adds that removing the ovaries can also have implications for bone and heart health, as well as the immune system.
Einstein's hope is for women and doctors appreciate that removing the ovaries doesn't only affect the reproductive system, but the entire body.
"Estrogen is an incredible molecule, and it does amazing things in both men and women's bodies," says Einstein