Do you associate all of these with normal aging or could they actually be related to a decrease in your Estradiol levels?
By the year 2050, it’s estimated that 13 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s Disease. Although hormone replacement isn’t considered a treatment for cognitive degeneration and decline, we do know that men and women both benefit from Estradiol’s help in sustaining cognitive ability and in preventing cognitive decline.
A very large concentration of Estradiol Receptors are found in the hippocampus of the brain…an area that regulates memory and learning. The cells in our brains are called neurons, and it’s imperative that our neurons have the ability to connect with and interact with our other neurons. Estradiol’s role in cognitive function is to keep the lines of communication open between neurons, help in the development of neuronal processes and help maintain the production of neurotransmitters. Estradiol specifically supports the regulation of acetylcholine and glutamate and additionally protects the nerve cells from free radicals and excitotoxin damage.
Several studies have observed the effects of estrogen on cognitive/brain function in older women. Researchers have found that in women over 65 years old, those that take estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) (in the form of Estradiol) perform better on cognitive tests and show less cognitive deterioration over time. One study recruited 288 postmenopausal women that were either taking or not taking estrogen replacement therapy.15 Researchers found that women taking ERT had better visual memory when compared to those not taking the treatment. A similar study followed 788 older women for over two years to find that those taking ERT had better cognition than those who were not taking ERT.16
Estrogen therapy may not be a main treatment for cognitive function, but it can help inhibit memory loss and cognitive impairment in women who already take HRT to treat their menopausal symptoms. It is important for women to recognize that healthy cognitive function comes by living a healthy lifestyle. Along with balancing hormone levels, diet, nutrient supplementation, exercise, staying socially active, and a fascination with continued learning can help prevent age-related cognitive decline.
Want to know your hormone levels? Call us and ask how we can help you feel better and prevent cognitive decline before it even starts. Already experiencing cognitive decline? We can give you help as well!