We at Biohackr Health are trying to help you age better. Brain health is an important key to aging. Alzheimers, other forms of dementia, brain fog, Parkinsons- there is a broad term called “neurodegenerative diseases.”
So what does estrogen have to do with this?
Turns out, there are statistically significantly higher rates of dementia in women who have premature ovarian failure or early menopause. There have been many studies showing this. Today we cite a 2023 study which was a meta analysis of 11 prior studies. We purposefully cited a meta analysis, as the studies are consistently showing the same thing.
“Early menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency are associated with increased risk of dementia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies” published in 2023 in Maturitas. STUDY LINK
- Eleven studies (nine assessed as of good and two as of fair quality) were included
- Early menopause was associated with greater risk of dementia (OR 1.37, 95 % CI 1.22-1.54; I2 93%).
- Premature ovarian failure was also associated with dementia. POI (OR 1.18, 95 % CI 1.15-1.21; I2 0%).
Why does this matter?
Hormone replacement after menopause was contentious because of findings of a large study the Women’s Health Initiative study. One of the findings in that WHI study was that hormone replacement was not good for brain health. There were many issues with the WHI study, one of which was the average age was 61. Current thinking with new studies and findings advocate there is a WINDOW you need to start hormone replacement in to prevent cognitive decline.
What does this mean to you?
- If you have early menopause, premature ovarian failure, or your ovaries removed before the age of 50, you should strongly consider hormone replacement to prevent dementia.
- There is a window in which you can start it, and that is within the first years after menopause. There does seem to be evidence that you cannot start hormone replacement in your 60s for brain health- that the “damage” is already done and the hormones cannot reverse it/protect you and may even harm you if started new at this age.
- You can assess your hormone levels and other risks (hormone replacement can be associated with increased risk of breast cancer and blood clots) to see if hormone replacement is an option for you.