Natural Estrogen Use for Post-Menopausal Women with Alzheimer’s

University of Wisconsin – Madison
School of Medicine and Public Health

Natural Estrogen May Improve Cognition for Alzheimer’s Disease Patients

Madison, Wisconsin – Post-menopausal women who had mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and who wore a skin patch with natural estrogen for three months did better on cognitive tests than women who did not wear the patch, according to new findings by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH).

The findings are published as an early online version of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and are scheduled for publication in the September issue.

“The study shows that using a natural form of estrogen called estradiol, for short periods of time, may be cognitively beneficial for post-menopausal women with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease,” said Whitney Wharton, lead author and researcher at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC).

In the study, 43 post-menopausal women with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease were enrolled at the University of Wisconsin SMPH ADRC or the University of Washington in Seattle.

Women were randomly assigned to one of five different treatment plans in the randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind parallel group study: low dose estradiol patch with a placebo tablet or a 2.5 mg tablet of progesterone (medroxyprogesterone); high dose patch with placebo tablet or 2.5 mg tablet of progesterone; placebo skin patch with a placebo tablet.

The study participants underwent cognitive testing before, and at various intervals during, the study. The main result of the study was that women who received estradiol performed better on multiple cognitive tests than women who were assigned to the placebo group.

Also, the cognitive improvements were directly related to estradiol levels. Estradiol is a naturally occurring estrogen predominant in women before menopause. Wharton says estrogen is likely associated with the hippocampus, an area of the brain that has many estrogen receptors and is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Wharton said it’s important to realize that estradiol is different from a popular hormone-replacement drug that contains a compound called conjugated equine estrogen (CEE). The compound is not naturally occurring in humans like estradiol.

The study participants underwent cognitive testing before, and at various intervals during, the study. The main result of the study was that women who received estradiol performed better on multiple cognitive tests than women who were assigned to the placebo group.

Read Full Article…

PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.