Document Detail

1998 Curt P. Richter Award. The effect of hormone replacement therapy on cognitive function in elderly women.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10098219     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Although evidence seems to indicate favorable effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on cognitive functions and mood in elderly healthy and demented women, some questions remain. For instance, the nature of the long term effect of HRT, e.g. in preventing cognitive decline is still unclear. In this respect, the addition of progestagens in combined HRT has been mentioned to oppose some of the beneficial effects of estrogens. The present paper aims to illuminate these questions and presents two studies. In the first study, the long term effects of combined HRT in healthy postmenopausal women was investigated using a parallel groups (HRT-users vs. controls) design. HRT subjects were always tested during the estrogen-progestagen phase. Results indicated that after 6 and 12 months, women in the HRT-treatment group had higher scores on several indicators of the subjective feeling of well being (sleep, physical and psychological complaints) than matched controls, although at baseline both groups were not severely impaired. Effects of HRT on memory functions were seen when HRT treated subjects were compared with their own baseline functioning, but not when compared with controls. Hence, the addition of progestagen did not oppose the effects of estrogens on subjective feelings of well being or on memory. Our second (case-control) study involved women of middle-age who were unaware of the purpose of the experiment. No positive effects of HRT use on subjective scales of well being or on memory were found. However, women with HRT were faster on basic sensorimotor speed tasks as compared with controls. It should be kept in mind that double blind testing in an experimental study is difficult due to withdrawal bleeding and the reduction of flushes. Expectancy effects may have confounded the results of the first study. However, our findings indicate that the use of a particular design and type of memory test can explain the controversial results of studies into the effect of HRT on cognitive function. Furthermore, it was concluded that HRT has a global activating, instead of specific direct effect on cognitive functions.
E Hogervorst; M Boshuisen; W Riedel; C Willeken; J Jolles
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychoneuroendocrinology     Volume:  24     ISSN:  0306-4530     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychoneuroendocrinology     Publication Date:  1999 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-07-06     Completed Date:  1999-07-06     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7612148     Medline TA:  Psychoneuroendocrinology     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  43-68     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Affect / drug effects
Awards and Prizes*
Case-Control Studies
Cognition / drug effects*
Cognition Disorders / prevention & control*
Cross-Sectional Studies
Double-Blind Method
Emotions / drug effects
Estrogens / physiology
Follow-Up Studies
Hormone Replacement Therapy*
Memory / drug effects
Memory Disorders / prevention & control
Middle Aged
Neuropsychological Tests
Progestins / adverse effects
Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
Sleep / drug effects
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Estrogens; 0/Progestins

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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