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JOURNAL: Neurology, September 23, 2003.
AUTHORS: Dr. admin M. Meyer
ABSTRACT: Menopause is not associated with significant memory loss, new study findings indicate.
COMMENTARY: Previous studies have suggested an increase in forgetfulness reported by women during menopause, Dr. admin M. Meyer and colleagues note in the current issue of Neurology.
The researchers, based at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, initiated a long-term study in 1996, which included 803 women between 42 and 52 years old. All of the subjects were premenopausal or in the early stages of menopause at the start of the study. Each year, the women were tested for working memory and perceptual speed.
During an average follow-up of 2.1 years, the authors observed small but significant improvements in both cognitive scores with aging, after adjusting the data for ethnicity, education, income and self-reported health. Meyer's group suggests that learning effects may explain the improvement over time.
The investigators note that more refined analysis of the study data is forthcoming. They hope that additional analysis of risk factors and other psychosocial measures, such as depression and stress, will help identify predictors of cognitive change during menopause.