Cognitive Changes During Menopause Normal?

This is the topic of a new study with 75 participants:

The memory problems and “brain fog” that many women describe while going through menopause have been explained by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago in a new study.

“The most important thing to realize is that there really are some cognitive changes that occur during this phase in a woman’s life,” said Miriam Weber, Ph.D., the neuropsychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who led the study.

“If a woman approaching menopause feels she is having memory problems, no one should brush it off or attribute it to a jam-packed schedule. She can find comfort in knowing that there are new research findings that support her experience. She can view her experience as normal.”

The study is one of only a few to fully investigate a woman’s brain function during menopause and to compare those findings to the woman’s own reports of memory or cognitive problems.

For the study, 75 women, between the ages of 40 and 60, completed a series of cognitive tests that tested several skills, including the ability to learn and retain new information, to mentally manipulate new information, and to sustain attention over time. They answered questions about depression, anxiety, hot flashes, and sleep difficulties, and their blood levels of the hormones estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone were measured.

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