What is the role of estrogen therapy in the prevention of cognitive disorders?

Updated: Oct 16, 2018
  • Author: Janice L Bacon, MD; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Hormone therapy cannot be prescribed for the treatment or prevention of cognitive disorders or dementia.


While small clinical trials have shown positive cognition benefits in women after surgical menopause, [117, 118] larger RCT demonstrated neutral findings on cognitive function for women on HT instituted in early menopause. However in women more distant from menopause (age >65), HT does not improve cognition or memory.

Early institution of HT may decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s, while later initiation as noted in four observational studies, may actually increase the risk for Alzheimer’s development. The combined use of CEE and MPA may be detrimental to memory in women with late initiation of HT. [119]

Perimenopausal women may experience improvement of mood on estrogen therapy-other studies report neutral effects. If mood has been improved on HT, the withdrawal of it may prompt recurrence of low mood. [120]

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