Early menopause linked to lower memory test scores

11 April 2018

Journal of Neurology: Age at menopause and lifetime cognition

Researchers from University College London have found that women who experience menopause earlier in life performed slightly worse on a memory test than those who go through menopause later. The findings are published today in the journal Neurology.

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“There is much we don’t yet understand about the role hormones play in brain health as we age, but hormonal factors could contribute to differences in dementia rates between men and women. While this study found that women who went through menopause later in life performed slightly better on a memory test, it didn’t look at whether they were more likely to develop dementia.

“The study used volunteers from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, a research initiative involving people who have been taking part in medical research throughout their lives. All the members of this study group were born in one week in 1946, and now that they are in their early 70s, they are helping researchers gain valuable insights into the factors that can influence brain health in old age. Alzheimer’s Research UK is funding pioneering research involving this study group to better understand how different aspects of health and lifestyle are linked to the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s.”