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Home > Discussions, Hot Topics > November Discussion Topic: Memory Loss/Dementia and Menopause

November Discussion Topic: Memory Loss/Dementia and Menopause

November 9th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Is it the beginning of dementia or just another symptom of menopause?  Are hormones the answer or part of the problem?

If you are age 35 + this question has probably entered your mind… Is menopause affecting my memory or am I starting to have symptoms of dementia?

Menopausal women often complain of clouded thinking, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating; some even wonder if this is the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. Fluctuating hormone levels could be what are causing these symptoms, so is hormone replacement the answer or part of the problem?

A report released 10/14/10 called The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s found that 10 million American women either have Alzheimer’s or are caring for someone with the disease. This report not only shines a light on the disease, but it reignites a fire to the hormone therapy controversy. 

Important Issues:

In 2003, the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study found that women age 65 and older taking combination hormone therapy (estrogen and progestin) had twice the rate of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, compared with women who did not take the medication. The study also found that the combination hormone therapy (both estrogen and progestin) did not protect against the development of dementia. Other studies also concluded that hormone therapy initiated during late postmenopause does not improve memory; in fact it increases dementia risk. The research did not examine the consequences of hormone therapy earlier than age 65. However, some other studies imply that use of hormone therapy at the time of menopausal may reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

What Can You Do Now?

  1. Talk to your doctor… discuss your menopausal symptoms, including any memory loss or changes in cognitive function
  2. Remember that Menopause Treatment is not ‘a once size fits all’… each women is different, therefore, each treatment plan may vary. The current Position Statement from The North American Menopause Society recommends, “ using hormone therapy only when needed to treat moderate to severe symptoms of menopause. Consistent with that approach is the recommendation to use the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time. Each woman, in consultation with her healthcare provider, needs to prioritize her midlife health concerns and determine whether hormone therapy is an acceptable choice for her.”
  3. Test your memory for signs of dementia… and discuss results with your healthcare provider

Visit http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/p/topic-test-your-memory-for-alzheimers.html

Categories: Discussions, Hot Topics Tags:
  1. November 14th, 2010 at 11:53 | #1

    Excellent advice on this confusing issue!
    John Sunyecz

  2. June 15th, 2011 at 01:59 | #2


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