By Catherine Winters, MyHealthNewsDaily
The hormone treatments that ease the hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopausecaused by declining estrogen levels may also be good for a woman’s brain, depending upon when she starts taking them.
In a new study, women who began hormone replacement therapy (HRT) within five years of entering menopause, and used hormones for 10 or more years were 30 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over 11 years, compared with women who never used HRT. By contrast, risk for Alzheimer’s was not reduced among women who started hormones five or more years after menopause, regardless of how long they took them.
“This study suggests there may be a critical window of opportunity around menopause during whichhormone therapy may protect against Alzheimer’s disease,” said study researcher Peter Zandi, associate professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.