Memory failure during menopause real but temporary


Many women experience memory trouble in their 40s and 50s as they approach and go through menopause. A new study says these lapses happen most often in the early part of the final stage of menopause.

The problem is real

“Women going through menopausal transition have long complained of cognitive difficulties such as keeping track of information and struggling with mental tasks that would have otherwise been routine,” explained Miriam Weber, PhD, a neuropsychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). “This study suggests that these problems not only exist but become most evident in women in the first year following their final menstrual period.”

Women at all stages of menopause were tested

Study participants took part in a variety of tests for cognitive skills. They reported on other symptoms like hot flashes, sleep disturbance and depression. Blood samples were tested. The women were broken out into four groups based on stage of menopause. The tests they took represented a variety of daily activities every woman experiences like remembering a phone number, staying focused for a short period of time, making a mental shopping list. They found that women in the early stage of post-menopause performed the worst on the tests than did women in the late reproductive and late transition stages.

Memory failure not related to other issues like disturbed sleep

“These findings suggest that cognitive declines through the transition period are independent processes rather than a consequence f sleep disruption or depression,” said Weber. “While absolute hormone levels cod not be linked with cognitive function, it is possible that the fluctuations that occur during this time could play a role in the memory problems that many women experience.”

Normal and temporary

“By identifying how these memory problems progress and when women are most vulnerable, we now understand the window of opportunity during which interventions – be those therapeutic or lifestyle changes – may be beneficial,” concluded Weber. Women should be reassure though that these changes are normal and temporary.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Menopause


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