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The UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders offers research programs to address and explore the needs of women in different stages of menopause.

UNC Changes Study Changes study logo

The purpose of our study is to understand the role of estrogen fluctuation in combination with stressful life events in altering the normal biological responses to stress and, in so doing, triggering depression and anxiety symptoms.

We also seek to examine whether stabilizing the estrogen fluctuation will have a beneficial effect on the biological responses to stress and mood symptoms.

Eligible women will be randomly assigned (i.e. by chance) to either transdermal estrogen (a skin patch containing 17β-estradiol) or placebo (a skin patch containing an inert substance) for 16 weeks. Participants will be involved in the study for a total of 24 weeks. Approximately 6 in- person visits will be necessary over the course of the study. Participants will receive up to $1,275 for participation.

You may be eligible to participate if you are:

  • Between the ages of 45 and 60
  • Medically healthy
  • Having irregular menstrual cycles or skipped periods

For more information, or to see if you are eligible for the Changes study, please call (919)590-0813 or e-mail Terry at

You can also go to the study website at

The PEERS Study

We are studying how estrogen influences brain function and mood during the transition to menopause.

Participants in this study wear a low-dose estrogen skin patch for three weeks and have 2 brain scans so that we can better understand how estrogen affects brain

PEERS study logo


You may be eligible if:

• You are between the ages of 44-55;

• Your period has recently become irregular

• Your last period was less than 12 months ago.

Compensation for completing this study is $500. To see if you would be a good fit, please visit or call 919-966-5243.