Study suggests hormone therapy could help improve cognition of Alzheimer’s patients
Scientists have suggested through a study published in the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) that hormone therapy involved estrogen could improve cognition of Alzheimer’s patients.
There have been many studies that have long suspected that sex-specific factors such as estrogen may contribute to women’s increased risk for the disease. Previous studies have shown that estrogen plays a role in promoting memory and learning.
In the latest study, scientists followed more than 2,000 participants over a 12-year period to examine the association between estrogen and cognitive decline. They focused on duration of a woman’s exposure to estrogen, taking into account such factors as time of menarche to menopause, number of pregnancies, duration of breastfeeding, and use of hormone therapy.
The researchers concluded that a longer duration of estrogen exposure is associated with better cognitive status in older adult women. Furthermore, they documented that these beneficial effects are extended with the use of hormone therapy, especially in the oldest women in the sample. Women who initiated hormone therapy earlier showed higher cognitive test scores than those who started taking hormones later, providing some support for the critical window hypothesis of hormone therapy.
Study results appear in the article “Lifetime estrogen exposure and cognition in late life: The Cache County Study.”