Hormones Soon After Menopause Do Not Affect Cognition
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) for up to 4 years after the last menstrual period did not improve cognition but did improve some mood symptoms, according to results of a study published online June 2 in PLOS Medicine. Hormone therapy to suppress symptoms of menopause has been associated with increased risk for cognitive decline in women older than 65 years, but not much is known about its effects on recently postmenopausal women. The "critical window" hypothesis states that MHT begun near the start of menopause may reduce future risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders and/or improve cognition. However, the study design addressed changes in markers of cognition and mood, not dementia.
@lalima The researchers followed the participants for up to 4 years and assessed effects on cognition (verbal learning/memory, auditory attention/working memory, visual attention/executive function, and speeded language/mental flexibility) and mood. The average age of study participants was 52.6 years, and the average time past the last menstrual period was 1.4 years. Neither treatment regimen improved cognition, but women who took pills only improved in depression and anxiety symptoms (tension-anxiety and depression-dejection) compared with women receiving placebo. Mood did not improve for women wearing patches. The researchers had hypothesized improvement in cognition and mood among the women wearing the patches, but not among those taking pills, on the basis of differences in how the body processes drugs from different routes of administration.