Pure Pedantry

Estrogen and Cogntive Improvement

Madam Fathom has a great piece on the results of fellow Sinai researcher John Morrison’s study into cognitive improvement with estrogen treatment. (I would note, however, that hormone replacement therapy is still not recommended for anything other than the acute treatment of menopause because of negative cardiovascular side-effects associated with it.) (OVX = ovariectomized)

A new study by John Morrison at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine investigated this issue by OVXing old and young rhesus monkeys, and treating half of each group with estrogen. The group then tested the monkeys on a task of short-term memory (STM), a component of working memory, in which the monkeys had to remember the location of an object after an increasing delay. They found that aged OVX monkeys which had not received estrogen treatment performed significantly worse than any of the other three groups (aged OVX + estrogen, young OVX + estrogen, young OVX), indicative of significant cognitive decline. Moreover, the two groups of young animals performed equivalently, regardless of whether they received estrogen treatment, and the aged OVX + estrogen group performed equally well as the former two. This surprising finding indicates that the estrogen treatment in the aged monkeys was sufficient to improve their cognitive function to levels comparable to their younger peers.

Read the whole thing.


  1. #1 Amy
    July 6, 2007

    Hey, check this out for another view of menopause:


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