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Can Menopause Mimic Dementia, Alzheimer’s?

The brain fog a woman might experience in the perimenopausal or menopausal phase can be quite real

Written by Kashish Sharma | Updated : November 28, 2022 12:37 PM IST

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A Real Brain Fog

Much like puberty, menopause is a transitional phase. There are many new changes in the body that might not make sense initially and they might be confused with other medical conditions. One of the common most changes a woman might experience is forgetfulness or poor memory. Sometimes it might become so obvious that a woman might think that she is getting sick with conditions like Dementia or Alzheimer’s. The brain fog a woman might experience in the perimenopausal or menopausal phase can be quite real.

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Not Just A Sex Hormone

As per studies, the fluctuating levels of the hormone like estrogen might have some role in declining cognitive function during perimenopause and after menopause. Though estrogen is essentially a sex hormone but studies now show that it has a multifaceted function in a woman’s body. The hormone also affects your brain, bones, blood vessels, skin and other parts of the body.

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Low Estrogen Not Good For Memory

Studies have shown that estrogen promotes the growth and survival of neurons. The hormone is also known to enhance the functioning of neurotransmitter systems that play a major role in memory and processing information. The hormone is also responsible for enhancing the communication between neurons in the hippocampus, an area of brain that is crucial for verbal memory. Also Read - Things You Must Not Say To Expecting Moms

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Might Mimic Memory Disorders

Studies have shown that menopause can also lower the levels of glucose in the brain which is the primary fuel used by the organ. The brain might then look for other metabolic sources to adjust to the new hormonal environment. Hence, the memory loss during this stage might appear very real and can make a woman feel like she is affected by conditions like Dementia, Alzheimer’s and others. Some studies also show that symptoms might be worse during perimenopause and might get improved after menopause.