Natural vs surgical menopause and cognition

October 1, 2009

Natural menopause and surgical menopause might have different effects on cognitive function, according to the results of animal research published in the September issue of Endocrinology.

Natural menopause and surgical menopause might have different effects on cognitive function, according to the results of animal research published in the September issue of Endocrinology.

Jazmin I. Acosta, PhD, of Arizona State University in Tempe, and colleagues analyzed data from middle-aged female rats that underwent ovariectomy surgery; gradual ovarian follicular depletion with 4-vinylcyclohexene-diepoxide (leading to results resembling those in nonsurgically menopausal women); gradual ovarian follicular depletion with 4-vinylcyclohexene-diepoxide treatment followed by ovariectomy; or sham surgery. Rats were then given a battery of cognitive tests.

The researchers' results indicate that transitional menopause before ovariectomy may be associated with better memory than abrupt loss of hormones with the surgery. In addition, removal of ovaries after transitional ovarian hormone loss may be linked to better cognition compared to retaining the ovaries.

A co-author reported a financial relationship with Senestech Inc.

Acosta JI, Mayer L, Talbloom JS, et al. Transitional versus surgical menopause in a rodent model: etiology of ovarian hormone loss impacts memory and the acetylcholine system. Endocrinology. 2009;150:4248-4259.