Long-term HRT is associated with improved nonverbal memory and attention

מתוך medicontext.co.il

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Long-term postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has a beneficial effect on women's nonverbal memory and attention, according to a report in the December issue of Fertility and Sterility.

To determine whether cognitive domains are improved or maintained after long-term estrogen replacement therapy, Dr. Yolanda R. Smith and colleagues from the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor, compared neuropsychological test scores of postmenopausal women 60 years or older who had been treated (n = 16) or who had not been treated (n = 13) with HRT. All of the treated subjects had received HRT without interruption since menopause.

The test battery included tests of memory, verbal fluency, executive functions, attention and concentration, and psychomotor function. "Tests of intellectual function, depressive symptoms, and emotional functioning assessed general functions and comparability of the groups," the team explains.

The researchers observed no significant differences between the groups for general demographic, cognitive, and psychological measures. In addition, no significant differences were found for verbal fluency, learning, or memory measures.

Women who had been treated with long-term HRT performed slightly better than untreated women in a measure of prefrontal, executive function, according to the report.

"The only tests showing statistically significant differences between the groups were the Weschler Memory Scale Visual Reproduction, delayed recall, and the Digit Vigilance Test (a test of visual scanning and attention)," the investigators report.

"Further longitudinal studies appear warranted to assess both the specificity of these findings to those cognitive domains and to determine whether the findings are consistent across socioeconomic groups and educational levels," Dr. Smith and colleagues conclude.

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