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Verified hormone therapy improves episodic memory performance in healthy postmenopausal women.

Journal article
Authors Julie E Yonker
Rolf Adolfsson
Elias Eriksson
Monika Hellstrand
Lars-Göran Nilsson
Agneta Herlitz
Published in Neuropsychology, development, and cognition. Section B, Aging, neuropsychology and cognition
Volume 13
Issue 3-4
Pages 291-307
ISSN 1382-5585
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 291-307
Language en
Keywords Analysis of Variance, Cognition, drug effects, Estradiol, blood, therapeutic use, Estrogen Replacement Therapy, methods, Female, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Memory, drug effects, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, statistics & numerical data, Observation, methods, Postmenopause, drug effects, physiology, Prospective Studies, Retrospective Studies, Space Perception, drug effects, Verbal Behavior, drug effects
Subject categories Physiology


Studies of hormone therapy (HT) and cognition have yielded conflicting results. The aim of this observational study was to examine the effect of estradiol, via serum verified HT (estradiol, estriol, progesterone) and endogenous estradiol, on 108 healthy postmenopausal women's cognitive performance. The results demonstrated that the 43 HT-users performed at a significantly higher level than non-users on episodic memory tasks and on a verbal fluency task, whereas HT-users and non-users did not differ on tasks assessing semantic memory and spatial visualization. In addition, there was a positive relationship between serum estradiol level and episodic memory performance, indicating that postmenopausal HT is associated with enhanced episodic memory and verbal fluency, independent of age and education. These observational results suggest that HT use may be sufficient to exert small, yet positive effects on female sensitive cognitive tasks. Hormone therapy compliance and formulation is discussed as confounding factors in previous research.

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