Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston research suggests, those memory lapses many women notice around menopause are real, and they can begin at a relatively young age.
It’s common for women going through menopause to complain of what researchers sometimes call “brain fog” — forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly.
And while those complaints are subjective, a number of studies have also shown they can be objectively detected.
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston said the new study builds on that objective evidence.
For many women going through menopause, memory lapses can be one of the most unsettling symptoms. This can lead to many misconceptions, such as the belief memory lapses are indicative of a more serious issue. Memory lapses, however, are typically due to hormone fluctuations that occur during menopause and are rarely a cause for concern.
It found that, yes, a woman’s performance on certain memory tasks tends to dip as her estrogen levels drop — and it happens during the average age range of menopause: 45 to 55. Menopause is defined as when a woman’s menstrual period stops, confirmed when she has missed her period for 12 consecutive months.
What’s more, those hormone levels are related to activity in the hippocampus, a brain region key in memory processing. Overall, postmenopausal women showed a opposite settlement of activity in a brain’s hippocampus, compared to women who were premenopausal or going by a transition. Estradiol levels were found to be the key, lower levels meant “more pronounced” changes in mind activity.
“This research is critical for women since it helps to normalize their experiences, an that these changes are normal.” . “Many women fear that a memory changes they are experiencing during this time is a pointer of Alzheimer’s illness or another cognitive disorder”.
Some other research, experts suggests that memory activity typically “bounces back” after menopause.