Researchers have found that the connection with menopause and the ability to remember things are linked.
In a study, researchers gave eight tests of attention and memory to 68 women, ages 44 to 62, who experienced moderate to severe hot flashes. The women also completed questionnaires about their menopause symptoms, mood and memory.
Researchers found that menopause foggy brain is a link between memory loss and moods. Women who reported they were not in a good mood, or were depressed, scored lower in the series of psychological tests of attention and memory.
“The most important thing to realize is that there really are some cognitive changes that occur during this phase in a woman’s life,” said Miriam Weber, Ph.D., the neuropsychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who led the study. “If a woman approaching menopause feels she is having memory problems, no one should brush it off or attribute it to a jam-packed schedule. She can find comfort in knowing that there are new research findings that support her experience. She can view her experience as normal.”
Weber says, “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. This study suggests that these problems not only exist but become most evident in women in the first year following their final menstrual period.”
“These findings suggest that cognitive declines through menopause are independent processes rather than a consequence of sleep disruption or depression,” Weber said. “While absolute hormone levels could 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.”
Dr. Margery Gass, the executive director for The North American Menopause Society and a gynecologist at Cleveland Clinic reported ways to help, “The good news for women is that there’s proof that their perception about their performance is real. Women should become proactive, make notes and lists, and make use of the little tricks that helps us perform better.”
It’s most likely their memory abilities will return back to normal once menopause passes.
The study was published online in the journal Menopause.
Menopause Hormone & Brain Chemistry
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