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Estrogen and cognition, with a focus on Alzheimer's disease.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Seminars in reproductive medicine
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
2
Pages
172–179
Identifiers
PMID: 15852203
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Cognitive aging is associated with decreases in memory, attention, and visual/motor performance and skills. Dementia consists of loss of memory and other cognitive abilities, associated with social or occupational impairment. Potential neuroprotective effects of estrogen include lowering beta-amyloid, enhancing cholinergic function, promoting synaptic plasticity and nerve process growth, reducing oxidative stress, and enhancing brain glucose transport. Observational and longitudinal studies suggest that hormone therapy may attenuate age-associated cognitive impairment or decrease Alzheimer's disease but this has not been confirmed by randomized clinical trials. A critical window of time may exist around the menopause when hormone therapy may delay or decrease cognitive changes; however, hormone therapy initiated in the late postmenopause does not improve global cognition and may increase dementia risk.

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