Alzheimer’s risk in women: early menopause, hormones, and more
The researchers found that participants with elevated amyloid β protein (aka Aβ, a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease), who were female, had used hormone therapy (in the past or during the study), and had started menopause at an earlier age were significantly more likely to have higher regional tau PET (another biomarker of Alzheimer’s disease). Among women who used hormone therapy, the study found that starting five or more years after menopause was associated with higher PET tau than starting earlier.
As Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., a neuroscientist, nutritionist, and associate director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, explained earlier in an episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, reproductive hormones help protect our brains from developing the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. disease. When women enter menopause, their estrogen levels plummet, making their brains more susceptible to dementia.