The beneficial effects of Estradiol and Estriol on cerebral perfusion and cognition have been identified. There are estrogen and progesterone receptors all over the brain. Estrogen loss results in a decline in serotonin. When women in peri-menopause / menopause come into the physician’s office depressed they probably don’t have an Elavil™ deficiency, they probably have a hormonal deficiency. Progesterone binds directly to the GABA receptors, just like Valium™, Ativan™, Ambien™ and Xanax™.
Recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the review of the NAIMS trial concluded that hormone replacement therapy started immediately after menopause demonstrated a neuroprotective effect 20 years later.
The pathology of brain function and vascular blood flow to the brain probably has the same pathology as coronary artery disease and the heart. The Cash County study showed that the benefits required greater than 10 years, but that there was a five-fold decrease in memory changes. In Neurology 2001, High dose transdermal Estradiol was shown to improve cognition in women, both verbal memory and visual memory.
A recent study in the neuropsychology literature (2006), demonstrated that a higher Estradiol level resulted in better memory. Both measurement of episodic memory and verbal fluency were better in HRT users than in patients not receiving replacement therapy. Senile dementia in a JAMA meta-analysis was also reduced with Hormone replacement therapy.
If you are struggling with forgetfulness and brain-fog, I have an answer for you: Bio-identical Hormone Replacement.