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Menopause pauses memory, posing unforgettable problems

by Medindia Content Team on February 4, 2006 at 12:12 PM
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Menopause pauses memory, posing unforgettable problems

Approaching Menopause? Losing your mind? Just pause and read this. A recent study reported in Boston at the Annual meeting of the International Neuropsychological Society, suggests that women approaching menopause might just get a bit unforgettable. That means they might have huge difficulties remembering things! One more of that middle age blues.

According to the study team, from the University of Rochester Medical Center, the problem was not so much flawed memory, as much as grievance of forgetfulness and the manner in which these women grasp new information. Co-author and Assistant Professor of Neurology, Mark Mapstone, has said that though this mimics a memory problem the causes are different. It feels like, incapacity to recall but in reality the actual grasp of the information has not taken place. Miriam Weber and Mark Mapstone, both memory experts at the University's Memory Disorders Clinic, have come in contact with increasing number of middle-aged women having such problems with forgetfulness.

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According to Weber, most women express fears of a potential Alzheimer's infliction, when they have such lapses in their memory. Fortunately the team has found no evidence to indicate that such memory problems portend onset of Alzheimer's disease. Infact, it is possible that women in their 40's and 50's are unable to cope with changes coupled with leading stressful lives.

This is perhaps the latest news that we have connecting memory, menopause and estrogen. Almost 3 years ago scientists had announced that HRT enhances dementia risk, close on the heels of other results which linked HRT to heart disease, stroke and breast cancer. A study of 800 women in 2003 showed no links between menopause and memory problems, though neurophysiologists face a consistent flow of such patients. What Weber and Mapstone did further was to subject 24 women with complaints of memory problems through a series of tests that aimed at studying their cognitive skills along with their traditional memory. The findings have reported that, while just one out of the 24 women suffered acute memory problems, the remaining did not come under any strict category of such problems. On close evaluation, it was observed that women who expressed problems of forgetfulness had a tough time grasping new information, actually impersonating a memory problem. Evidently a clear link between the degree of complaints and their capacity to comprehend new information. They also discovered that most women who formed a part of their study had experienced some kind of depression, anxiety and mood swings. A detailed study involving a larger spectrum of cognitive tests is required to establish this link completely.

Source : Eureka Alert
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