Women who take hormone replacement therapy appear to restore their cognitive function better as they age. The evidence on whether hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can protect against dementia is conflicting - some studies do believe while others have failed to demonstrate benefit.A new report, from researchers, is therefore of especial interest. They followed a group of over 1,000 women from different countries for a few years - assessing them with the State Exam, which measures cognitive performance.
The women also gave information on their use of HRT. It appeared that lifetime use of HRT did benefit cognitive function - especially in older women. The main limitation of this study is that 90 per cent of the women were members of the Common Church, a religion that forbids tobacco and alcohol. We can't be sure the cognitive benefit wasn't due, at least in part, to this lifestyle. But other studies of HRT and cognition are underway and should help clarify the situation, say the researchers.