In the news today https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/hrt- ... -79ncztbv0
"Hormone replacement therapy patches used to reduce symptoms of the menopause may preserve the brain and protect against Alzheimer’s disease, research suggests.
Over seven years, treatment with the skin patches was associated with less age-related shrinkage of the part of the brain involved with memory, thinking and reasoning.
Women whose brains responded in this way were also less likely to have a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Their brains contained fewer sticky clumps of beta-amyloid, a toxic protein fragment believed to trigger the death of neurons. But hormone replacement therapy had no impact on scores in thinking and memory tests, according to the study published in the journal Neurology.
Kejal Kantarci, the lead researcher from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said: “We found that one form of menopausal hormone therapy taken soon after menopause may preserve brain structure in the portion of the brain responsible for memory and thinking skills. It may also reduce the development of amyloid plaques that can build up and lead to memory loss.”
He added: “More research is needed to determine the biological reasons behind brain changes during menopausal hormone therapy.”
also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... imers.html
Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“There is ongoing research into the role that hormones might play in diseases like Alzheimer’s, but previous studies into the effects of hormone therapy have been mixed. This small study found no link between mHRT and memory and thinking, but women who had taken the hormone estradiol via skin patches showed some signs of better brain health."
Link to the article herehttp://n.neurology.org/content/neurolog ... 5.full.pdf
Objective The effects of 2 frequently used formulations of menopausal hormone therapy (mHT) on brain structure and cognition were investigated 3 years after the end of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial in recently menopausal women with good cardiovascular health.
Methods Participants (aged 42–56 years; 5–36 months past menopause) were randomized to one of the following: 0.45 mg/d oral conjugated equine estrogen (oCEE); 50 μg/d transdermal 17β-estradiol (tE2); or placebo pills and patch for 4 years. Oral progesterone (200 mg/d) was given to mHT groups for 12 days each month. MRIs were performed at baseline, at the end of 4 years of mHT, and 3 years after the end of mHT (n = 75). A subset of participants also underwent Pittsburgh compound B–PET (n = 68).
Results Ventricular volumes increased more in the oCEE group compared to placebo during the 4 years of mHT, but the increase in ventricular volumes was not different from placebo 3 years after the discontinuation of mHT. Increase in white matter hyperintensity volume was similar in the oCEE and tE2 groups, but it was statistically significantly greater than placebo only in the oCEE group. The longitudinal decline in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex volumes was less in the tE2 group compared to placebo, which correlated with lower cortical Pittsburgh compound B uptake. Rates of global cognitive change in mHT groups were not different from placebo.
Conclusions The effects of oCEE on global brain structure during mHT subside after oCEE discontinuation but white matter hyperintensities continue to increase. The relative preservation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortical volume in the tE2 group over 7 years indicates that mHT may have long-term effects on the brain.
Looks like more evidence for the use of patches, then. Which is good, as my friend was just prescribed some and it had a warning on the leaflet saying not to be used in older women (over 65 I think) due to increased risk of dementia.