The Estrogen/Alzheimer's Association: A New Critical Study Just Published in JAMA
In a nutshell? An earlier onset of menopause and a later initiation of hormone therapy were associated with an increase in the tau tangles of Alzheimer's
Four years ago, I interviewed Dr. Lisa Mosconi, a neurologist at Columbia Presbyterian hospital in New York. Dr. Mosconi has a family history of Alzheimer’s, but only the females in her family were stricken. Moreover, she knew that two out every three cases of Alzheimer’s cases involved a female. Could a drop in estrogen at menopause in the female body play a role? She was convinced it could and began a massive study, to which I loaned my brain. We even went on the Today Show together to talk about it. Then I did more digging and wrote a story on the subject for The Atlantic.
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Well, yesterday, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a blockbuster article, giving more credence to Mosconi’s hunch. What they found was definitive association between an early onset of menopause and the existence of the tau tangles of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, they found that those women who waited longer than five years after the onset of menopause to started MHT (menopause hormone therapy) had significantly more tangles.
In other words? Timing of hormone therapy, when it comes to Alzheimer’s prevention, is more critical than once believed. Meanwhile, women of my generation and my mother’s generation were either dissuaded from taking estrogen or told…nothing. About any of this.
Please excuse me while I scream.
Then, if you’re in menopause or heading there, please make a point of talking to your doctor about whether or not systemic hormone therapy is right for you—not everyone born with a uterus can or should take it—within that critical five year window.