Women’s Wellness: Hormone therapy and Alzheimer’s disease

Women’s Wellness: Hormone therapy and Alzheimer’s disease

There is research pointing to a reduced Alzheimer’s risk in women who are given estrogen early in menopause because the hormone seems to slow down the accumulation of amyloid.

A drop in hormones during midlife may have some influence on a woman’s chance of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Volume of the brain gradually declines with advancing age, but the decline is faster in people who experience more cognitive decline. “Preserving brain volume during middle age, particularly in women as they transition into menopause, may protect against dementia and delay the occurrence of symptoms,” says Dr. Kantarci, a radiologist in the Division of Neuroradiology at Mayo Clinic and does research in aging and dementia with imaging tools. She studies how the brain changes with aging and how brain diseases affect those changes, which can lead to dementia. She says imaging can provide a window into brain changes, decades before someone begins to show clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

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