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06/19/2009 - News

Menopause not linked to memory decline

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Women transitioning through menopause do not have any linked cognitive decline. There is a persistent myth that a woman's memory becomes faulty when she reaches the menopause.

But the truth is that menopause does not cause any kind of mental decline. A new study by researchers at Rush-Presbyterian-St Lukes Medical Center in Chicago looked at mental performance in a group of women before, during and after menopause.

This is the first study to follow women as they make the menopausal transition. It was part of a larger investigation called the Study of Women Across the Nation (SWAN), which is following the natural history of menopause in a group of around 3,300 women from five different ethnic groups who are assessed each year. In the memory study, a group aged 40 to 55 were assessed from 1996 and, if anything, their performance got better as time went on. If women do experience memory and other memory problems during the menopausal years, this is more likely due to stress, depression or other factors rather than the menopause itself.



Neurology 23rd September 2003

Created on: 10/01/2003
Reviewed on: 06/19/2009

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