Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Study - Brain Lapses In Learning During Perimenopause

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:57 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Women's Health, Menopause, Hormones, HRT

There may be a lapse in the ability to learn and process during the perimenopause stage for women.

The Menopausal Brain

LEARN MORE

 

IMAGE SOURCE:  iStockphoto/ mature woman running

 

It’s a cry that is heard repeatedly by women in their prime- that is entering menopause- that their brains do not work well.

In the largest study of its kind to date and published in Neurology, UCLA researchers found that may be true temporarily.  

They followed more than 2,300 women ages 42 to 52 over four years.  Some women were in menopause, others in the perimenopause state, just before menopause.  They were all given three tests over the four years on verbal memory, working memory, and processing speed.    The women were tested during menopause transition (MT) from premenopause, to early perimenopause, late perimenopause and post menopause.

The processing speed improved with repeated testing during premenopause, early perimenopause and post menopause. But late perimenopause score improvement was only 28 percent as large as premenopausal improvements.

Repeated tests suggest that early and late perimenopausal women do not learn as well as during other MT stages. 

"These perimenopausal test results concur with prior self-reported memory difficulties — 60 percent of women state that they have memory problems during the menopause transition," said Dr. Gail Greendale, a professor of medicine in the division of geriatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA said in a news release. "The good news is that the effect of perimenopause on learning seems to be temporary. Our study found that the amount of learning improved back to premenopausal levels during the postmenopausal stage."

For years, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) combining forms of estrogen and progestin was believed to improve brain functioning. This study finds taking estrogen or progesterone hormones before menopause improved verbal memory and processing, but taking them after the final menstrual period had little impact.    Postmenopausal women not taking hormones showed improvement in process and verbal memory. 

The findings indicate there is a critical period for hormone benefits on the brain, likely before menopause.  

HRT was used by millions of women to relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, and protect against cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. But in 2002, a major federal study found that HRT showed substantially increased risks for heart disease, breast cancer, stroke and dementia.  #


2 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by Sue Dillon
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 7:19 AM EST

I am 48 amd believe I am premenopausal as my periods are now erratic. I feel as if my brain has left me and gone on holiday. Everything I try and process mentally is so slow and I definately now have to write lists. I get very brain tired after only a little mental work. Sometimes my head feels as is it is exploding. How is it possible to run a business and bring up teenage children with a malfunctioning brain? Oh I forgot the tears, crying over such simple happenings.

Regards
Sue

Anonymous User
Posted by Sue Dillon
Wednesday, July 15, 2009 7:19 AM EST

I am 48 amd believe I am premenopausal as my periods are now erratic. I feel as if my brain has left me and gone on holiday. Everything I try and process mentally is so slow and I definately now have to write lists. I get very brain tired after only a little mental work. Sometimes my head feels as is it is exploding. How is it possible to run a business and bring up teenage children with a malfunctioning brain? Oh I forgot the tears, crying over such simple happenings.

Regards
Sue

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address

Subscribe

RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes