Hormone therapy improves sleep in menopausal women and recent data suggest that transdermal 17β-estradiol may reduce the accumulation of cortical amyloid-β. However, how menopausal hormone therapies modify the associations of amyloid-β accumulation with sleep quality is not known. In this study, associations of sleep quality with cortical amyloid-β deposition and cognitive function were assessed in a subset of women who had participated in the Kronos early estrogen prevention study. It was a randomized, placebo-controlled trial in which recently menopausal women (age, 42-58; 5-36 months past menopause) were randomized to (1) oral conjugated equine estrogen (n = 19); (2) transdermal 17β-estradiol (tE2, n = 21); (3) placebo pills and patch (n = 32) for 4 years. Global sleep quality score was calculated using Pittsburgh sleep quality index, cortical amyloid-β deposition was measured with Pittsburgh compound-B positron emission tomography standard uptake value ratio and cognitive function was assessed in four cognitive domains 3 years after completion of trial treatments. Lower global sleep quality score (i.e., better sleep quality) correlated with lower cortical Pittsburgh compound-B standard uptake value ratio only in the tE2 group (r = 0.45, P = 0.047). Better global sleep quality also correlated with higher visual attention and executive function scores in the tE2 group (r = -0.54, P = 0.02) and in the oral conjugated equine estrogen group (r = -0.65, P = 0.005). Menopausal hormone therapies may influence the effects of sleep on cognitive function, specifically, visual attention and executive function. There also appears to be a complex relationship between sleep, menopausal hormone therapies, cortical amyloid-β accumulation and cognitive function, and tE2 formulation may modify the relationship between sleep and amyloid-β accumulation.
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