|Title||Estrogen may protect against dementia|
|Date||30 June 2008|
|Full Story||Research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine annual meeting 2008, has shown that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) used in postmenopausal women at risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), increased metabolism in regions of the brain which are affected by AD.
81 women receiving HRT for menopausal symptoms and who were thought to be at risk of AD because of family history, genetic profile or other risk factors, were randomised to either continue HRT for 2 years or more, or to discontinue it. Brain studies measuring metabolic activity were carried out both at the beginning and the end of the study.
A decline in metabolic activity, a sign associated with decline in brain function, was seen in the women who stopped HRT, but was not seen in the women continuing HRT, in whom the activity was preserved, and in some was increased.
The findings do need to be confirmed with larger trials but do fit in with the "window of opportunity" theory whereby initiating hormone therapy early on in the menopause transition may be neuroprotective, as well as cardioprotective.
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