Dementia is a decrease in brain function which may occur suddenly, such as after head trauma, or a stroke. Alzheimer’s disease is a slow eroding of the brain’s function over years. The WHIMS study showed there was an increase of 0.9% in dementia in non-hormone treated older women. However, the increase of dementia in women treated with estrogen and progestin (note-not progesterone) had a dementia rate of 1.8%. Some researchers concluded that all older women (10 yrs. past menopause) should NOT get brain enhancing estrogen. Other researchers said the problem was the synthetic progestin.
Studies are on-going with different interpretations of results at times! We do know that one can have a stroke or heart attack whether you do or do not take estrogen, but the risk may be increased if you add progestin to the estrogen. Cancer of the reproductive organs, and blood clots have been reported as increased in hormone replaced women in some studies.
Hormone replacement therapy is a quality of life issue, particularly for the brain.
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