Women with early, surgically-induced menopause had greater incidence of neurological problems, including declining cognitive function and early indicators of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a report at the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting.
Compared with women who had normal menopause, a young age at surgically-induced menopause was significantly associated with decline in memory; cognition; Alzheimer’s pathology; and neuritic plaques, which, in large numbers, are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. No significant association with Alzhemier’s disease itself was shown, however.
Lead author Riley Bove, MD, of Harvard Medical School, noted that estrogen is neuroprotective and that the loss of estrogen at an early age may “increase the risk of cognitive decline.”
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had no significant effect on cognitive decline, regardless of the duration of use or time of initiation.
Bove R, et al "Early surgical menopause is associated with a spectrum of cognitive decline" AAN 2013; Abstract IN8-2.004.