Estrogen and the brain: does estrogen treatment improve cognitive function?

  title={Estrogen and the brain: does estrogen treatment improve cognitive function?},
  author={Eef Hogervorst},
  journal={Menopause International},
  pages={19 - 6}
  • E. Hogervorst
  • Published 1 March 2013
  • Medicine
  • Menopause International
In this paper we describe potential reasons for the discrepancies between data from basic sciences and observational studies and those of large treatment studies investigating the association between brain function and sex steroids. Observational studies which often showed positive associations between hormone use and cognition can be affected by ‘recall bias’ and ‘healthy user bias’, while outcomes of treatment studies were hypothesized to be modified by age at treatment, age at or type of… 
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Results together with potent neurocognitive, neuroprotective, and cardiometabolic properties suggest that selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) could be the potential targets for designing effective and safer therapies for psychiatric disorders.
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The issue of cardiovascular and cognitive health in women is complex. During the premenopausal phase of life, women have healthy blood pressure levels that are lower than those of age-matched men,
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Assembled evidence supports a cognitive impact of OCs restricted to specific domains; however, the quality of evidence is poor and the most consistent finding is improved verbal memory with OC use.
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The associations between menopausal stage and/or hormone levels and sleep problems, mood and reduced cognitive performance are considered and the role of estrogen and menopause hormone therapy (MHT) in cognitive function, sleep and mood are discussed.


Sex steroids to maintain cognitive function in women after the menopause: a meta-analyses of treatment trials.
A meta-analyses included 36 randomised treatment trials and indicated that, contrary to expectations, age of women and duration of time elapsed when treatment was initiated since menopause ('window of opportunity' hypothesis) did not significantly affect treatment outcome, nor did it matter whether women were symptomatic or not.
Brain and cognition. Is there any case for improving cognitive function in menopausal women using estrogen treatment?
It is concluded that longer term treatment with estrogens to maintain cognitive function is not indicated for older women, on the basis of limited data, and that estrogens only have limited positive effects on some tests for a number of months regardless of age.
Hormone replacement therapy for cognitive function in postmenopausal women.
There is good evidence that both ERT and HRT do not prevent cognitive decline in older postmenopausal women when given as short term or longer term therapy, and there is insufficient evidence to determine whether subgroups of women using specific types of hormone therapy could benefit from treatment.
The effect of hormone replacement therapy on cognitive function in elderly women
The findings indicate that the use of a particular design and type of memory test can explain the controversial results of studies into the effect of HRT on cognitive function.
Hormone replacement therapy to maintain cognitive function in women with dementia.
There was a limited positive effect from low dosage of conjugated equine estrogens on the Mini-Mental Status Examination after 2 months but not from higher dosage, and no effects were seen on visual memory, language functions, most speeded tests, clinical rating scales or depression.
Effects of testosterone and estrogen replacement on memory function
Investigation of the effect of adding testosterone to estrogen therapy on memory functions in oophorectomized women found immediate verbal memory deteriorated compared with estrogen + placebo, while other memory functions were unaffected.
High-dose estradiol improves cognition for women with AD
Although these findings provide further clinical evidence to support a cognitive benefit of estrogen for women with AD, studies evaluating the effect of estradiol administration, in particular, using larger sample sizes and for longer treatment durations are warranted before the therapeutic potential of estrogen replacement for Women with AD can be firmly established.
Longitudinal effects of estrogen replacement therapy on PET cerebral blood flow and cognition
Group differences in longitudinal change in rCBF patterns may reflect one way through which hormones modulate brain activity and contribute to enhanced memory performance among ERT users.
Differences in verbal memory performance in postmenopausal women receiving hormone therapy: 17β-estradiol versus conjugated equine estrogens.
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    The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
  • 2011
Verbal memory performance was better in postmenopausal women receiving 17β-E compared to CEE in a sample population of women with risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, suggesting a differential effect of HT type on verbal memory.
Modification of estrogen's association with Alzheimer's disease risk by genetic polymorphisms
It is suggested that elevated E1 levels significantly increase AD risk in both men and women, however, interactions between APOE ε4 and genetic polymorphisms related to sex steroid metabolism and AD risk need to be further investigated.