Menopause, Estrogen and… Alzheimer’s?
Did you know that two-thirds of all Alzheimer’s patients are women? One theory why this is the case is that women have a longer life expectancy than men, making them more likely to age into cognitive decline. A newer theory is that Alzheimer’s is triggered among women years before the disease’s symptoms appear, during perimenopause (the phase before a woman transitions into menopause).
According to researchers investigating the potential link between menopause and Alzheimer’s, Alzheimer’s symptoms may be triggered because a woman’s level of estrogen dramatically decreases during that period. Estrogen is a hormone that protects nerve cells against damage and degeneration; in its absence, the brain is more vulnerable. For more about this research, check out this story in The Atlantic.