Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Calls on Congress to Fund Comprehensive Menopause Research

Monica Gordon
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Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Calls on Congress to Fund Comprehensive Menopause Research (Chicago Heights, IL) — Menopause and its effects on  women’s health is having a moment. After decades of ignoring the debilitating effects menopause can have on women, new attention is being given to this inevitable stage of life.

Cook County Commissioner, Monica Gordon, who is introducing a resolution that calls on Congress to fund more comprehensive menopause research got a recent boost when first lady Jill Biden and actress Halle Berry held a news conference at the University of Illinois at Chicago with Dr. Pauline Maki, who is doing “groundbreaking research on menopause.”

“This resolution was already in the works when I learned the first lady was coming to Chicago. I worked in the pharmaceutical industry and learned how low levels of estrogen and progesterone raise the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, lead poisoning, urinary incontinence and oral issues like cavities,” explains the 5th District commissioner. “And it’s worse for Black women.”

According to a recent study by Carrot Fertility, 6,000 women reach menopause every day. Dr. Maki, a professor of psychiatry at UIC, has found a clear correlation between the number of hot flashes a woman experiences and her memory performance. On average, Black and brown women have a more difficult time with menopause, more severe symptoms and suffer from hot flashes for 10 years.

“Hot flashes disrupt sleep and sleep is one of those things we need for our heart health and brain health,” explained Dr. Maki in an extended interview on CBS 2 Chicago. “If we look at my area alone, which is Alzheimer’s disease, Black and brown women are the group that’s at highest risk.”

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Since there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Maki says the economic impact could cost Americans tens of trillions of dollars.

“So, by understanding menopause in the brain, we can help women bring to late life the healthiest brain that we can so that when the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease emerges, if it does, their brains are resilient to it,” Maki elaborated.

Consequently, Commissioner Gordon is asking the additional funding to include the long-lasting effects of menopause on women’s health and she wants the Cook County Board to request more funding for education on the symptoms and effects of menopause for medical workers–including primary doctors, gynecologists and specialists–to help them identify symptoms leading to, during and after menopause.

Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon Calls on Congress to Fund Comprehensive Menopause Research

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