Posted by WBHI on Jan 4, 2013 in Think Twice
by Nancy Walsh for MedPage Today:
The year after a woman’s final menstrual period — a phase classified as early postmenopause — is a time in which subtle changes in cognition occur, researchers found.
Compared with women in an earlier stage of menopause known as the late menopausal transition phase, those in early postmenopause scored worse on tests of verbal learning (B = −0.93, P<0.01) and verbal memory (B = −0.80, P=0.01), according to Miriam T. Weber, PhD, of the University of Rochester in New York, and colleagues.
In addition, women in early postmenopause fared worse on measures of fine motor skills (B = −0.70, P=0.03) and attention/working memory (B = −0.55, P=0.04), the researchers reported online in Menopause.
Posted by WBHI on Oct 25, 2012 in Think Ahead, Think Twice
by Anna Hodgekiss for The Daily Mail:
Just two glasses of wine a day could be harmful to the brain, new research suggests.
Even moderate drinking can decrease the production of adult brain cells by as much as 40 per cent, researchers from Rutgers Unviersity in the US have found.
The researchers said the findings showed there is a fine line between moderate and binge drinking. Lead author Megan Anderson said: ‘Moderate drinking can become binge drinking without the person realising it.
‘In the short term there may not be any noticeable motor skills or overall functioning problems, but in the long term this type of behaviour could have an adverse effect on learning and memory.’
Posted by WBHI on Oct 24, 2012 in Think Twice
by American Academy of Neurology:
A new study suggests that women who begin taking hormone therapy within five years of menopause may reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The research is published in the October 24, 2012, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“This has been an area of debate because observational studies have shown a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease with hormone therapy use, while a randomized controlled trial showed an increased risk. Our results suggest that there may be a critical window near menopause where hormone therapy may possibly be beneficial,” said study author Peter P. Zandi, PhD, with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “On the other hand, if started later in life, hormone therapy could be associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”
Posted by WBHI on Oct 3, 2012 in Think Twice
by The Herald:
Kronos Longevity Research Institute (KLRI) today announced that a major finding of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) indicates that hormone therapy (HT) improves symptoms of depression and anxiety in recently menopausal women, without adverse effects on cognition. The findings come as a result of a four-year randomized clinical trial involving nearly 730 menopausal women. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society, Oct. 3-6, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.
“The KEEPS was a complex study to address issues that are important to menopausal women and their caregivers,” said KLRI Director and President S. Mitchell Harman, M.D., Ph.D. “These preliminary results are of major clinical significance, as they will help clinicians assess the overall risk-benefit profile for each woman wishing to receive hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause.”
Posted by WBHI on Jul 9, 2012 in Think Twice
by Health Canal:
A new study of aged female rats found that long-term treatment with estrogen and a synthetic progesterone known as MPA increased levels of a protein marker of synapses in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region known to suffer significant losses in aging.
The researchers looked for a protein marker of synapses (black spots) in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region that governs many abilities known to decline with aging.
The new findings appear to contradict the results of the Women’s Health Initiative, a long-term study begun in 1991 to analyze the effects of hormone therapy on a large sample of healthy postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79. Among other negative findings, the WHI found that long-term exposure to estrogen alone or to estrogen and MPA resulted in an increased risk of stroke and dementia. More recent research, however, suggests that starting hormone replacement therapy at the onset of menopause, rather than years or decades afterward, yields different results.
by Dr. Douglas Fields for Huffington Post:
Dementia and osteoporosis are two of the most common health conditions affecting older women; interestingly, a new study finds a strong link between the two. Loss of bone density, which can be measured easily by X-ray, strongly correlates with cognitive decline in postmenopausal women. The findings also suggest that similar studies should be conducted in men.
Menopause is not normally associated with changes in memory or cognitive performance, but estrogen deficiency can cause cognitive impairment, and low estrogen level is also a risk factor for weak bones and osteoporosis. Women who have had both ovaries removed before the age of 45 are at significantly-increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Studies suggest that women suffer Alzheimer’s disease at up to three times the rate of men. Forgetfulness is the mildest form of cognitive decline in postmenopausal women, but 10-15 percent of women diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment will develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Posted by WBHI on Jun 12, 2012 in Think Ahead, Think Twice
by Mary Elizabeth Dallas for MSN Health:
Early menopause may be associated with an increased risk of brain aneurysm, new research suggests.
The study by researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago included 76 postmenopausal women who had a brain aneurysm, or an abnormal bulging of an artery in the brain. Aneurysms are serious. If the bulge leaks or ruptures, it can lead to stroke or death.
About 26 percent of the women who had an aneurysm experienced menopause by age 40, compared with about 19 percent in a comparison group of women who didn’t have an aneurysm. Every four-year increase in the age at which a woman went through menopause was associated with a 21 percent decreased risk of aneurysm.
Posted by WBHI on May 29, 2012 in Think Twice
by Melissa Healy for The Washington Post:
Women who are past menopause and healthy should not take hormone replacement therapy in hopes of warding off dementia, bone fractures or heart disease, according to a new analysis by the government task force that weighs the risks and benefits of screening and other therapies aimed at preventing illness.
The recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not necessarily apply to women who take hormone replacement therapy to reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. The balance of harms and benefits for that use is expected to be addressed in an imminent report by the federal government’s Office of Health Quality Research.
The latest recommendation, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, comes from an organization accustomed to kicking up controversy. In recent months, the task force has recommended against routine breast cancer screenings for most women younger than 50. It has also urged that the prostate-specific antigen (or PSA) test that has become a standard part of older men’s yearly physicals be abandoned.
In July 2002 the publication of the first Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) report caused a dramatic drop in Menopausal Hormone Therapy (HT ) use throughout the world. Now a major reappraisal by international experts, published as a series of articles in the peer-reviewed journal Climacteric (the official journal of the International Menopause Society), shows how the evidence has changed over the last 10 years, and supports a return to a “rational use of HT, initiated near the menopause”.
The reappraisal has been carried out by some of the world’s leading experts in the field, including clinicians who worked on the original WHI study. Summarising the findings of the special issue, authors Robert Langer, JoAnn Manson, and Matthew Allison conclude that “classical use of HT” – MHT initiated near the menopause – will benefit most women who have indications including significant menopausal symptoms or osteoporosis.
Posted by WBHI on May 17, 2012 in Think Twice
by Sylvia Perez and Christine Tressel for ABC News:
Feeling sluggish or having trouble concentrating? Science is finally starting to catch up with what millions of women have known for a long time — that their changing bodies are having an effect on brainpower.
Phyllis Lanoff has a lot on her plate. As a restaurant manager her job can be stressful. But she juggles it all, along with some wicked hot flashes. The vibrant 53-year-old says she never expected the change of life to hit her so young. Symptoms started in her early 40s.
“Absolutely no clue, didn’t know what it was. Thought I didn’t feel good for a while,” she said. She’s not alone. Many women are surprised when the signs of menopause begin to kick in. So when Lanoff found out about an estrogen and hot flash study at the University of Illinois at Chicago she wanted in.
Researchers suspect that estrogen helps minimize hot flashes and that in turn lessens the surge of a stress hormone called cortisol, which can impact part of the brain.
“So maybe it is through this cortisol surge that hot flashes are associated with poor memory functioning,” said Pauline Maki, Ph.D., researcher, University of Illinois Hospital.