Hormone therapy linked to brain health

21 March 2018

Scientists in the US have found that women with good cardiovascular health who have recently been through the menopause and received a certain type of menopausal hormone replacement therapy (mHRT) showed signs of preserved brain structure in a region associated with planning, reasoning and controlling behaviour. The findings are published today in the online scientific publication, Neurology.

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

“There is ongoing research into the role that hormones might play in diseases like Alzheimer’s, but previous studies into the effects of hormone therapy have been mixed. This small study found no link between mHRT and memory and thinking, but women who had taken the hormone estradiol via skin patches showed some signs of better brain health.

“Hormonal differences may go some way to explaining why more women than men develop dementia, but more studies are needed to piece together the effect of hormones on the brain and how different forms of hormone therapy might impact brain health later in later life. Anyone who is concerned about the effects of HRT should speak to their GP.”