How does HRT for menopause affect cognitive functioning?

Updated: Jan 30, 2019
  • Author: Nita V Bhatt, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
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Data from observational studies suggest that estrogen may prevent or delay the onset of dementia, including Alzheimer disease, especially when estrogen therapy is started in young postmenopausal women. [21]

The data do not suggest that estrogen is helpful for maintaining cognitive function in all perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) was a study of postmenopausal women older than 65 years who were unlikely to have preexisting dementia. The women were monitored by means of serial Mini Mental Status Examinations. No improvement in global cognitive functioning was observed with estrogen treatment. [55]

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