AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018

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Does Menopausal Hormone Therapy Maintain the Brain?

Taking menopausal hormone therapy soon after menopause to relieve symptoms may also benefit the brain, according to a study.

“We found that one form of menopausal hormone therapy taken soon after menopause may preserve brain structure in the portion of the brain responsible for memory and thinking skills,” said study author Kejal Kantarci, MD, MS, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “It may also reduce the development of amyloid plaques that can build up and lead to memory loss.”

For the study, researchers identified 75 healthy women with an average age of 53 who were between five months to three years past menopause. Of those, 20 women took conjugated equine estrogen in pill form, 22 received estradiol via skin patches and 33 received a placebo of either the pills or patches. In addition, the women taking active hormone were also given progesterone pills for the first 12 days each month. Placebo pills were given to those in the placebo group.

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