Navigation Links
Memory Takes a Hit During Menopause
Date:5/25/2009

Study finds women do not learn as well for a time, but bounce back,,,,

MONDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Science is now backing up what women have long claimed: Memory and learning take a hit during menopause.

Research published in the May 26 issue of Neurology finds that women do not learn as well during early and late perimenopause, when periods are irregular but have not disappeared altogether.

But the changes were subtle, manifesting as less improvement rather than actual decline, the authors stated. Most importantly, the deficits, if they can be called that, were temporary: A woman's learning capacity bounces back once postmenopause has begun.

"The good news is that when women are finished with the menopause transition and in steady postmenopause, cognitive performance, memory, learning, all that comes back to premenopause levels," said Dr. Arun S. Karlamangla, an associate professor of medicine at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine and the study's senior author.

"This adds to several other studies that suggest that there are parts of the menopause transition where there are effects on memory and cognitive abilities," said Dr. Victor Henderson, a professor of health research and policy and of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, and past president of the North American Menopause Society.

"For women starting the menopause transition or just finishing it, there are no big changes in memory," Henderson said. "There may be some problems in the middle of the transition, but before and after, women are about the same."

Almost two-thirds of women say they have memory problems during this time in their lives, according to the researchers.

Given that estrogen has been shown to have beneficial effects on brain function, researchers have hypothesized that the decline in estrogen level that occurs after menopause or the fluctuations in hormone levels that occur during perimenopause might compromise memory and other brain functions.

The UCLA researchers looked at processing speed, verbal memory and working memory (how quickly information is processed) in 2,362 women who were 45 to 57 years old when first tested. They were followed for more than four years.

Assessments were conducted during four stages of the transition: premenopause (menstrual periods remained regular); early perimenopausal (some irregularity but no long gaps); late perimenopause (missing a period for three to 11 months); postmenopausal (having no period for a year).

"Women started off premenopausal and went into menopause so we measured cognitive performance at different parts of the menopause transition," Karlamangla explained. "Much to our surprise, cognitive functioning did not actually decline in any group."

In fact, it improved in all groups, as is often seen after repeated testing, Karlamangla said.

But women in late perimenopause showed less improvement in processing speed than women in the other three phases.

"Learning was not as good in the late perimenopausal stage as in the early perimenopausal phase," Karlamangla said.

And both early and late perimenopausal women showed fewer gains in verbal memory than their counterparts in either premenopause or postmenopause.

Starting hormone therapy (estrogen or progesterone) before the last period seemed to help cognitive function, whereas starting after the last period was linked to smaller improvements in test scores than achieved by women who did not take hormones, the study found.

The researchers are still studying whether menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes play any role in memory and learning fluctuations during this transition.

"For older women, meaning after 60 or 65 years, it's pretty clear from several studies that starting hormone therapy isn't going to help memory and isn't going to help prevent dementia or Alzheimer's," Henderson said. "In fact, it seems to increase the risk of dementia when started after this age."

And the message regarding appropriate use of hormone therapy remains the same: Take it only for bothersome symptoms of menopause, for the shortest time possible and at the lowest dose possible.

"There is some suggestion that early use of hormone therapy might be helpful, but it's just a hint," he continued. "This, like most research, is incremental and doesn't change clinical practice."

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more on menopause.



SOURCES: Arun S. Karlamangla, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Victor Henderson, M.D., professor, health research and policy, neurology and neurological sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.; May 26, 2009, Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Alzheimers Foundation of America Promotes Free Memory Screenings Year-Round
2. Medical Care Corporation Enables Early Detection of Memory Loss Due to Alzheimers Disease
3. Stanford Issues Findings from Cognitive and Brain Experts Urging Consumer Caution on Memory Fitness Products
4. Memory grows less efficient very early in Alzheimers disease
5. Think memory worsens with age? Then yours probably will
6. Simple Steps to Maintaining Memory
7. HBO, Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, UC Davis Alzheimers Disease Center, UCSF Memory & Aging Center and The Alzheimers Association, No. Cal. Present an Advance Screening of THE ALZHEIMERS PROJECT: Momentum In Science
8. Computerized Brain Exercise Improves Memory
9. JHU researcher discovers brain cells have memory
10. Effects of disease severity on autobiographical memory in semantic dementia revealed in new study
11. Activation of the prefrontal cortex improves working memory
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Memory Takes a Hit During Menopause
(Date:5/24/2017)... , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... background. Understanind and choosing the most appropriate instruments for research and understanding the ... research finding. This webinar will focus on innovations in stereo microscopy for brightfield ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... innovative medical image management and interpretation, has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... Nucleus.io is a web-based, scalable and secure cloud platform for medical image management. ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Patients who want to receive ... now meet with Dr. Joseph Bedich for a consultation, with or without a referral. ... oral health and functionality. , Dr. Bedich offers a variety of cosmetic ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Dr. ... of the HP3 (High-Performance Periodontal Practice) continuing education (CE) series. As a compassionate ... in his field by attending numerous CE courses each year. His recent course, ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... to its solutions portfolio. ExtraHop delivers an analytics-first approach, layered with machine learning, ... system, from the datacenter to the cloud to the edge. Through the new ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/9/2017)... 9, 2017  Demonstrating its commitment to representing ... for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America ... companies will now have to meet new research ... eligible to join PhRMA. "By putting ... sending a clear message that being a member ...
(Date:5/8/2017)... , May 8, 2017 MACRA ... transition from fee for service reimbursement. Black Book Research ... 1.       The Market for MIPS Compliance ... 77% of physician practices with 3 or more clinicians ... Solutions by Q4. "Given the magnitude of the changes, ...
(Date:5/6/2017)...  May is Stroke Awareness Month and Omron Healthcare ... methods to prevent a stroke: monitor and manage your ... and Prevention, undetected and uncontrolled hypertension is a leading ... leader in personal heart health technology, recently evolved its ... and stroke and is advancing a national public education ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: