Hormone Replacement Therapy and Dementia: The Effects of Estrogen and Progesterone
Dementia affects millions of people all over the world, and the numbers continue to grow as the population ages. While there is no cure for dementia, there are treatments that can help slow down its progression.
One such treatment is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which involves taking estrogen and/or progesterone after menopause.
In this blog post, we will look at the effects of estrogen and progesterone on dementia.
I am a woman over age 65, should I take Estrogen?
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, and research has shown that estrogen can help to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s. One study found that women who took estrogen after menopause were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who did not take estrogen.
However, it is important to note that this protective effect was only seen in women who took estrogen before they turned 65. For women who started taking estrogen after age 65, there was no protective effect against Alzheimer’s.
There are a few possible explanations for this. First, it is possible that the brain is more susceptible to damage from Alzheimer’s disease after menopause when levels of estrogen start to decline.
Second, it is also possible that the protective effect of estrogen wears off after a certain number of years.
Finally, it is also possible that taking estrogen after age 65 has no effect on Alzheimer’s disease, and the difference in risk between women who took estrogen before and after age 65 is due to chance.
Estrogen can help women with hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, which are common symptoms of menopause.
Estrogen can also help to improve mood and cognitive function. Most women feel that the quality of life that HRT gives them outweighs any additional chance of developing dementia. Remember, you should always talk to your doctor before starting any treatment.
What effect does progesterone have on Alzheimer’s?
Progesterone is another hormone that has been studied for its potential to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.
However, the results of these studies have been mixed. Some studies have found that women who take progesterone are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, while other studies have found no effect.
It is possible that the conflicting results of these studies are due to the fact that progesterone levels decline with age, and so it may only be effective in protecting the brain if it is taken at a young age. It is also possible that the conflicting results are due to chance.
Progesterone replacement can help women moderate mood swings, deal with stress, and improve sleep quality. So most women find it very beneficial during menopause and even during peri-menopause.
Do I have a higher risk of developing dementia if I am on HRT?
The answer to this question is not clear. Some studies have found that women on HRT are at a higher risk of developing dementia, while other studies have found no effect. The conflicting results of these studies may be due to chance.
It is also important to note that the risk of developing dementia increases with age and family history regardless of whether or not a woman is on HRT.
Most women feel that the benefit to their quality of life (by reducing hot flashes and night sweats and increasing libido) is enough to negate the possibility of an increased risk of dementia. It is also important to note that many studies are not done with bio-identical hormones, and instead use synthetic hormones.
Remember that before starting any treatment you need to discuss it with your medical provider.
We are happy to test your hormone levels at Hormones by Design. Our newest location in New Braunfels, TX is accepting new patients. Call us at 830-627-7979 today!