Earlier studies had linked
hormone replacement therapy to a doubled risk of dementia and a reduced memory,
but a new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine is all set to
prove it wrong.
A team of researchers from the
Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina, recruited around 1,300 women
for the study, all of them between the age of 50 and 55 years. All the study
subjects were already under hormone replacement therapy medication.
The researchers gave one group of
women their normal HRT
medication, and another group a placebo. For seven
years, the women were closely monitored, after which, their brain function
scores were taken.
The results so obtained revealed no overall difference in the scores between
women on placebo and the women taking their HRT medications
"Our findings provide reassurance
that CEO-based (conjugated equine oestrogens) therapies when administered to
women earlier in the postmenopausal period do not seem to convey long-term
adverse consequences for cognitive function," explained Dr Mark Espeland, a
professor of biostatistics who led the research.
However, they did report - 'We are not able to address whether initiating hormone therapy
during menopause and maintaining therapy until any symptoms are passed affects
cognitive function, either in the short or longer term'.
Some minor speech disturbances
occurring due to long-term use of HRT
medications had also been shunned,
attributing them to being statistically insignificant.
This study may come as a relief to around 1.5 million
British women who use hormone replacement therapy to manage their symptoms of
medications have proved to be quite effective in treating
symptoms associated with menopause including mood swings, hot flushes and more.