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Women's Health

Hormone Replacement Therapy May Protect Against Cognitive Declin

19 years, 7 months ago

6723  0
Posted on Sep 29, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Kristine Yaffe, MD and colleagues from University Californa San Francisco studied 3,393 women from four communities of the United States, who were part of the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). They found that women who carry a certain variety of a gene called ApoE (Apolipoprotein E) were half as likely to suffer cognitive deterioration after age 65 if they were using estrogen.

Kristine Yaffe, MD and colleagues from University Californa San Francisco studied 3,393 women from four communities of the United States, who were part of the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). They found that women who carry a certain variety of a gene called ApoE (Apolipoprotein E) were half as likely to suffer cognitive deterioration after age 65 if they were using estrogen. ApoE, with three possible variants or alleles (e2, e3 and e4), is a blueprint for a protein that carries cholesterol and fats between the liver, brain and other tissues. Estrogen-using women who carry the e2 and e3 variants (inherited as a pair from their parents) experienced less cognitive loss during the seven year study, said Yaffe. The results indicate that estrogen may help prevent cognitive decline in women who carry e2 and e3 alleles, she explained. The researchers also studied women who carry at least one e4 allele and have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease (AD), according to previous studies. In these women, estrogen use did not protect against cognitive decline. Yaffe also reports that estrogen use was associated with less thickening of the wall of the carotid artery, repsonsible for carrying blood to the brain. The team suggesets that less carotid atherosclerosis may prevent small vessel strokes that result in mental deterioration as we age.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Neurology, May 23, 2000

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