Postmenopausal hormone therapy raises concerns.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Brain diseases (Risk factors)
Brain diseases (Research)
Hormone therapy (Health aspects)
Postmenopausal women (Health aspects)
Pub Date: 03/22/2009
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Spring, 2009 Source Volume: 12 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 218027805

New studies prompted by the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study suggest that postmenopausal hormone therapy may accelerate the deterioration of brain tissue in women 65 and older.

Previous studies suggested that hormone therapy utilizing conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs) may impair women's thinking skills and memory as well as put patients at a greater risk of stroke. A new study conducted by a Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center research team, however, found no supporting evidence for such an increase in cognitive-affecting vascular lesions or strokes. Dr. Laura H. Coker, who led the research team, describes their study of the MRI scans of 1,400 women from ages 71 to 89 who had previously used the hormone therapy for 4 to 6 years. Their research showed that these women had slightly smaller brain volumes in the frontal lobe and hippocampus--areas associated with thinking and memory skills.

Dr. Susan Resnick of the National Institute on Aging adds, however, that many of the more severely affected patients had evidence of memory problems before undergoing therapy. While the hormone therapy has a negative effect on brain structure, it's possible that the therapy may have only exacerbated an already present neurodegenerative disease. Experts suggest women 48 to 55 undergo the therapy for menopausal symptoms at a low dose. Women over 65 should not begin the therapy due to the greater risks for neurological health.

Nauert, R. (2009. January 13). Hormone therapy influences brain. Retrieved January 13, 2009, from 01/13/hormone-therapy-influences-brain/3627.html
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