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Dr. William J. Powers - Biological factors of gender dysphoria and transitioning

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Katie

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An excellent video from Dr. William J. Powers, an innovator and advocate for transgender healthcare. The video is quite long (2+ hours), but well worth watching. He spends the first 15 minutes or so explaining the biological factors involved in gender dysphoria and then goes into how transitioning is accomplished. It is a presentation to medical students, so be prepared for some medical language.

https://youtu.be/fefu33e8O-0
 

Linde

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Katie said:
An excellent video from Dr. William J. Powers, an innovator and advocate for transgender healthcare. The video is quite long (2+ hours), but well worth watching. He spends the first 15 minutes or so explaining the biological factors involved in gender dysphoria and then goes into how transitioning is accomplished. It is a presentation to medical professionals, so be prepared for a lot of medical language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fefu33e8O-0&t=1s
Are you sure it is a presentation to medical professionals?  A lot of non medical terminology is used in it!
 

Katie

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Linde said:
Katie said:
An excellent video from Dr. William J. Powers, an innovator and advocate for transgender healthcare. The video is quite long (2+ hours), but well worth watching. He spends the first 15 minutes or so explaining the biological factors involved in gender dysphoria and then goes into how transitioning is accomplished. It is a presentation to medical professionals, so be prepared for a lot of medical language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fefu33e8O-0&t=1s
Are you sure it is a presentation to medical professionals?  A lot of non medical terminology is used in it!

That is what is said at the beginning. The presentation was given at the 2019 Medical Education Week for Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.
 

Linde

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Katie said:
Linde said:
Katie said:
An excellent video from Dr. William J. Powers, an innovator and advocate for transgender healthcare. The video is quite long (2+ hours), but well worth watching. He spends the first 15 minutes or so explaining the biological factors involved in gender dysphoria and then goes into how transitioning is accomplished. It is a presentation to medical professionals, so be prepared for a lot of medical language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fefu33e8O-0&t=1s
Are you sure it is a presentation to medical professionals?  A lot of non medical terminology is used in it!
It could be that this was either for applicants to the med school, or for a medical education series for the interested public?

That is what is said at the beginning. The presentation was given at the 2019 Medical Education Week for Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.
I posted my answer here, but it did not show up!
 

Linde

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It could be that this was for newby's of the med school, or education presentation for the interested public?
 

Katie

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Linde said:
It could be that this was for newby's of the med school, or education presentation for the interested public?

I'm going to guess that it was a combination of his personality style and an audience comprised of many new medical students. But he uses more technical terms than the average person with no medical training would be familiar with.
 

Lexxi

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Hello all,

I have a little bit of info about Dr. Powers that you might find interesting. I've talked to him for roughly 4 or 5 months on Facebook. The other night I messaged him and one of his staff members answered and informed me that Dr. Powers would no longer be communicating with non-patients. He was talking to, and advising so many trans people, that it was starting to take a toll on his health and his marriage.

See he was not only seeing patients all day long, but he was keeping up his research into HRT, then going home and answering messages until late in the night. His nurse said he felt like he'd be letting people down if he didn't do that. So his staff, and I suspect his wife, stepped in and removed that obstacle from him.

She said that they're directing everyone to his Reddit page and we're free to make a post there, and IF he has time he may answer. So I thought I should really pass that along. I don't know how many other people have been talking to him like that, but it was really starting to do some damage.

For the record his nurse was REALLY nice and sweet and took the time to make sure I knew that this was the best thing for him. I'm sure he won't be losing any fans over this, because hopefully he'll be able to focus on getting his results published now. hahaha

Lexxi
 

Claire_

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I have seen this video before and loved the 2 hours of information.
Much of the logic and theories about why transgenderism links back to possible biologic causes is very validating in the midst of mainstream thought pushing the psychological disorder narrative.  Dr Powers pieces several medical studies together to build a comprehensive rationale for the origins.  I also like the altered HRT regime he has developed.
I think this is a must watch for any transgender or questioning individual.
 

Linde

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As always, I want to point out that Powers is not an endocrinologist, and everything he says and knows about the endocrine system, is self taught.  He may be right or not, we don't know.  His school knowledge about this is as good or bad as mine.  In my conversations with him I found out that he has a lot of misbeliefs about intersex conditions.
Whatever you guys decide, do not medicate yourself without getting a doctor involved who is specialised for those subjects!
 

Katie

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Claire_ said:
I have seen this video before and loved the 2 hours of information.
Much of the logic and theories about why transgenderism links back to possible biologic causes is very validating in the midst of mainstream thought pushing the psychological disorder narrative.  Dr Powers pieces several medical studies together to build a comprehensive rationale for the origins.  I also like the altered HRT regime he has developed.
I think this is a must watch for any transgender or questioning individual.

Yes, it was discovering the biological factors involved in gender dysphoria that gave me enough hope to pursue therapy and eventually HRT. HRT stopped the suicidal feelings and brought a sense of hope and purpose to my life that I never believed was possible. I strongly believe that the de-medicalization of gender dysphoria and being transgender is hurting a whole generation of transgender people who are being told that being transgender is just whatever you want it to be. They should be educated on why they are feeling what they are feeling.
 

Jamie

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Looks interesting but it's a tad too long for me. Can you give the highlights? What does he give as the biological causes for gender dysphoria?
 

Kiera

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Jamie said:
. . . tad too long for me. Can you give the highlights?

      pant .pant .pant Well of course! .pant .pant .pant (the sound of a four legged pet) I'll "go fetch" it right away and whuff it to you!

"The accompanying .pdf to the video (that you see on his screen) is
here" ->"Why Do People Have Gender Dysphoria"

Welcome btw!
 

staciepace

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I absolutely love this guy! And I model my own hormone practices of my online clinic after his model.  :D
 

Linde

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staciepace said:
I absolutely love this guy! And I model my own hormone practices of my online clinic after his model.  :D
I talked with the endo department of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN about him, they did not want to say anything about it, while my local endo (who I can't stand, because he did mensplain some of my discoveries to me), feels he is a quak!  I am pretty neutral, and am in loose email contact with him.
 

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I passed this video along to my endo who doesn't have much experience with trans care. She took the info saying she would check it out by listening in the car as she drove. I had taken the time to highlight some key times in the power point for her to consider. It is long. My gut feeling is she won't take it into serious consideration. I think there are guidelines that the endo's tend to follow. She mentioned that. She was to measure my Estrone and that was left off the report.

I think he is very driven, and that can be good and bad. It can be good for the possible progress and helping others, but bad for his personal life. I think it a mistake to either dismiss him or take everything he says as the authoritative answer.
 

OzGirl

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Jamie said:
Looks interesting but it's a tad too long for me. Can you give the highlights? What does he give as the biological causes for gender dysphoria?

Jaimie, I’m sorry I missed your first post for over a month! Firstly, a belated welcome to TransRefuge, and please keep asking questions! Dr Powers talks about the recent findings of many studies which show that during pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations can cause the  foetus brain to develop opposite to the sex of the body. The brain has the physical structure (male and female brains are structurally different) close to the preferred gender. This structural difference can be detected with MRI scans. So the brain demands self recognition which puts stress on the host which is Dysphoria.

IE, in my case, I was born with a female brain, and all my life it has been pushing me to conform with it’s gender identity. I found ways to manage the dysphoria until last year when it became so bad it destroyed my health, leaving me no choice but to transition. The many research projects pretty much all came up with the same conclusion, which compelled most of the worlds authorities to accept that trans is not a psychological condition, but a medical condition requiring medical treatment. Many psychological bodies are trying to water down these findings so they can retain some relevance in determining treatments, as they are now effectively in support roles.

I hope that answers your questions, and feel free to ask more!

Allie
 

Michelle_P

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OzGirl said:
Jaimie, I’m sorry I missed your first post for over a month! Firstly, a belated welcome to TransRefuge, and please keep asking questions! Dr Powers talks about the recent findings of many studies which show that during pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations can cause the  foetus brain to develop opposite to the sex of the body. The brain has the physical structure (male and female brains are structurally different) close to the preferred gender. This structural difference can be detected with MRI scans. So the brain demands self recognition which puts stress on the host which is Dysphoria.

Well, sort of.  I’m a guinea pig in an ongoing set of studies, and just had my latest fMRI scan yesterday. 

Functional Magnatic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI, is a powerful research tool using very specialized magnetic resonance imaging that can observe details of brain function, by detecting metabolic activity in small regions of the brain during cognitive processing.  The equipment is specialized, not very common, and very, very expensive.  (Profiling through several therapy sessions is much more economical and likely more accurate than trying to spot gender dysphoria or other clues about being transgender via fMRI.)

The human brain is largely identical between sexes.  Exposure to androgens (testosterone, etc) in fetal development and at puberty causes sexual differentiation at several ‘sexually dimorphic’ sites in the brain, many of which are associated with low level brain-body interfaces and the neuroendocrine system.

There really isn’t a male brain or female brain.  Only about 6% of the population studied has all ten or so sexually dimorphic sites aligned with their sex assigned at birth.  That said, there do appear to be several regions that align with gender identity, and do so prior to any medical treatment including hormone replacement therapy, such as the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, one of the first areas studied.  These regions do not exhibit plasticity, or changes with learning or conditioning.

There are gross differences with considerable overlap between sexes assigned at birth, also related to androgen exposure.  The androgen-exposed brain tends to be roughly 2% larger on average, with small differences in total mass of white and gray matter. (I personally suspect it’s just swelling from testosterone poisoning. :) )  The connectome, the map of interconnections, tends to be different, although this is a component of the brain that is plastic, and does change over life and with learning or conditioning.

I wanted to mention this because I do regularly see references to a “female brain” or “male brain” used to argue for gender bias or superiority in the workplace, and in judgement and decision making, typically used to dismiss the work of female participants.  This is patently nonsense, and I strongly discourage it.

The brain differences relevant to being transgender are quite low level, and more related to brain-body interface than cognition.


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OzGirl

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Michelle, I know there are a number of studies being conducted, some on brain activity, and others purely on structure. One of the early studies identifying difference was completely by dissection, so no cognitive activities. This researcher noted the physical differences between male and female brains and as a sideline noted that a few trans brains dissected were more closely structured to the preferred gender, Since then there have been a number of studies to determine if hormones can change the structure or if strong gender identity can re wire the brain, so I don't know if the research you are involved in is similar to what Dr Powers describes.

Are you familiar with these papers?

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/85/5/2034/2660626

http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2016/gender-lines-science-transgender-identity/

Allie

 

Michelle_P

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OzGirl said:
...
Are you familiar with these papers?

https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/85/5/2034/2660626
Yes, this is one of the studies on the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis I mentioned above.

http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2016/gender-lines-science-transgender-identity/
This is an excellent survey paper, in nontechnical terms.  I reference it in one of the classes I offer.

I’m not sure if there is a specific paper in mind, or if the research I am participating in as a subject is more general, gathering data on how folks function, including across transition.  I was picked in part for this because I have some understanding of scientific method and the long term nature of medical research.  My own mother had been part of a lifetime study project, from age 21 until her death at 78.



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