Oophorectomy, menopause, estrogen, and cognitive aging

The timing hypothesis

Walter A Rocca, Brandon R. Grossardt, Lynne T. Shuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The concept of neuroprotective effects of estrogen in women remains controversial. Objective: To explore the timing hypothesis in relation to cognitive aging and dementia. Methods: We reviewed existing literature, conducted some reanalyses, and combined results graphically. Results: Current evidence suggests that estrogen may have either protective effects or harmful effects on the brain depending on age, type of menopause (natural versus surgical), or stage of menopause. The comparison of women with ovarian conservation versus women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy provided evidence for a sizeable neuroprotective effect of estrogen in women in the premenopausal years (most commonly before age 50 years). Several case-control studies and cohort studies also showed a neuroprotective effect in women who received estrogen treatment in the early postmenopausal phase (most commonly at ages 50-60 years). However, recent clinical trials showed that women who initiated estrogen treatment in the late postmenopausal phase (ages 65-79 years) experienced an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Conclusion: The neuroprotective effects of estrogen depend on age, type of menopause, and stage of menopause (timing hypothesis).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-166
Number of pages4
JournalNeurodegenerative Diseases
Volume7
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

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Ovariectomy
Menopause
Estrogens
Neuroprotective Agents
Dementia
Cognitive Aging
Case-Control Studies
Cohort Studies
Clinical Trials
Brain
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Dementia
  • Estrogen
  • Menopause
  • Neuroprotection
  • Oophorectomy
  • Timing hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

Cite this

Oophorectomy, menopause, estrogen, and cognitive aging : The timing hypothesis. / Rocca, Walter A; Grossardt, Brandon R.; Shuster, Lynne T.

In: Neurodegenerative Diseases, Vol. 7, No. 1-3, 04.2010, p. 163-166.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rocca, Walter A ; Grossardt, Brandon R. ; Shuster, Lynne T. / Oophorectomy, menopause, estrogen, and cognitive aging : The timing hypothesis. In: Neurodegenerative Diseases. 2010 ; Vol. 7, No. 1-3. pp. 163-166.
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