According to the findings of recent studies, women who begin hormone treatment (HT) at the beginning of menopause do not have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, despite the possibility that early menopause is a risk factor for the condition.
Women have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than males do, and women now make up the majority of those who are afflicted with the disease.
A new, limited study has been published that offers insight on the association between the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and factors such as age at menopause and use of hormone replacement therapy, generally known as HT (HRT).
According to the data, starting hormone therapy later in life may be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the researchers who conducted the study, the findings lend credence to the guidelines that advise hormone therapy should begin relatively soon to the onset of menopause rather than a few years later.
“HT is the most consistent technique to relieve severe menopause symptoms,” said Rachel Buckley, of the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), which is located in the United States. Yet, throughout the past few decades, there has been a lack of clarity on how HT affects the brain.
“We found that the highest levels of tau, a protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease, were only observed in hormone therapy users who reported a long delay between age at menopause onset and their initiation of hormone therapy.” [Citation needed] “We found that the highest levels of tau, a protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease,”
“The hypothesis that tau deposition may be the underlying cause of the link between late hormone therapy intervention and Alzheimer’s disease dementia was a monumental result because it was something that had never been seen previously,” the researchers said.
Past research has found a correlation between early menopause and an increased likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease dementia. Premature menopause is defined as menopause that occurs naturally before the age of 40 or due to surgical intervention before the age of 45.
Hormone therapy is used to alleviate the severe symptoms associated with menopause, and previous research has showed that it may also be able to prevent cognitive decline.
The women’s health initiative (WHI) study, which was conducted 20 years ago, found that the use of hormone therapy (HT) was associated with a nearly two-fold higher incidence of dementia compared to a placebo among women aged 65 years and older. This may have been caused by the fact that women began using HT many years after the onset of menopause.
The current study used brain imaging to investigate the relationship between the presence of beta-amyloid and tau, two proteins implicated in Alzheimer’s dementia, and the age at which a woman entered menopause as well as the consumption of HT.
In order to establish the levels of amyloid and tau in seven different regions of the brain, the researchers looked at scans taken from 292 adults with normal cognitive function.
The study found that women had higher amounts of tau compared to men of the same age, particularly in instances where the women also had elevated levels of beta-amyloid.
On the other hand, the researchers discovered that the relationship between aberrant levels of the proteins was significantly stronger among women who entered menopause at a younger age.
In the sections of the brain that are known to play a role in the course of Alzheimer’s dementia, the levels of tau were found to be elevated. These regions of the brain are located near to the brain’s memory centre.
Researchers investigated whether or not the use of HT was connected with the two proteins because a large number of women who experience premature menopause also use HT.
Researchers found that commencing the therapy late – five years or more after menopause – was the driving factor behind this relationship, despite the fact that the study verified this association.
A significant number of the women who fell into the late-HT-initiation category did not begin therapy until over ten years following menopause.
According to the study’s first author, Gillian Coughlan, who works in the Department of Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, up to ten percent of women go through a premature or early menopause. Our findings suggest that an earlier age at menopause may be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease dementia.
“Hormone medication can have negative consequences on cognition, but only if the treatment is started several years after the age at which a woman enters menopause.”
“Our observational findings lend support to clinical guidelines that suggest hormone therapy ought to be administered soon to the onset of menopause, but not several years following,” the authors write.
The findings were presented in a paper that was published in JAMA Neurology.
“While we understand that news like this can seem concerning, this study does not show that hormone therapy causes Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Sara Imarisio, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “While we understand that news like this can seem concerning, this study does not show that hormone therapy causes Alzheimer’s.”
Because the researchers did not follow up to see if the subjects went on to develop signs of dementia, we are unable to draw any conclusions about the relationship between cause and effect from this type of study.
She went on to say that “Hormone therapy gives important benefits to a large number of women, helping to counteract the problems that can be brought on by menopause.”
“Women who now take hormone therapy or are considering about taking it should not be dissuaded from doing so by these results,” and “anyone concerned about the effects of this treatment should consult with their doctor.”
A study that was conducted by experts at the University of East Anglia in January revealed that HRT may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease in women who are at risk of developing the condition.
The use of HRT, which helps control symptoms of the menopause, is associated with better memory, cognitive function, and larger brain volumes in later life in women carrying a gene called It is believed that approximately one quarter of women in the UK carry the APOE4 gene, and Alzheimer’s disease is more common in women than in men.
The study indicated that HRT was most effective when administered during perimenopause, which is the period of time months or years before to the cessation of menstruation during which symptoms of menopause begin to develop. This could result in brains that appear several years younger.