Hormone Therapy and Dementia
The Australasian Menopause Society has highlighted a study led by Stanford University Medical Center’s Professor Natalie L. Rasgon which examined the effects of estrogen replacement therapy for post-menopausal women at risk of dementia.
Object of study:
To discover the effects of estrogen- based hormone therapy (HT) on postmenopausal women’s regional cerebral metabolism, who are at risk of developing dementia. Mean age of the women was 58. The primary outcome measure was a change in brain function and activity. In dementia, “brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.”
Method and Results:
The study was held over two years. 45 women received neuroimaging pre and post commencement of estrogen-based hormone therapy. Participants were chosen to either continue or discontinue therapy.
Results showed the women who continued HT experienced “relative preservation of frontal and parietal cortical metabolism” compared with women randomly chosen to discontinue HT. This means their brain function remained relatively the same over the two year study period, while the women who discontinued HT showed a decline in brain function.
Women who continued therapy with conjugated equine estrogen showed a decline in function of the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortical (PCC) area. The PCC undergoes the most decline in function during the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.
A decline in PCC function was also seen in women who were taking progestin with their estrogen replacement therapy.
The study suggests post-menopausal women at risk of dementia may benefit from estrogen replacement therapy to aid in brain function preservation.
Study one: A 52 week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial to determine the efficacy of testosterone, with and without DHA supplementation in men with Subjective Memory Complaints as a strategy to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Study two: The Role of Testosterone on Aß Deposition of Alzheimer’s disease
For more information on testosterone in women, see: http://www.hormonesolutions.com/female/testosterone/what-is-testosterone.php
Hormone Solutions’s recommended reading: Testosterone In Women
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Rasgon NL, Geist CL, Kenna HA, Wroolie TE, Williams KE, Silverman DH. Prospective randomized trial to assess effects of continuing hormone therapy on cerebral function in postmenopausal women at risk for dementia. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 12;9(3):e89095. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089095. eCollection 2014.
Feature image courtesy of www.fightdementia.org.au/