[Artwork courtesy of Ann. Make sure to visit her blog! And thanks Ann!]
I ran across an interesting study that suggests that failing memory during menopause is an illusion. Because estrogen is critical to the brain function and signaling, medical experts have long suspected that the decline in estrogen that occurs naturally during menopause is responsible for memory loss.
To examine the association between estrogen and memory more closely, researchers looked at 800 women in various stages of perimenopause, menopause and post menopause over six years, using test score measures as a sign of brain function decline. Funny thing is, the scores didn’t decline!
Consequently, the researchers concluded that lapses in memory that many of us experience during menopause are less the result of hormones and more the result of life stressors. However, they also stated that it is possible that the tests they used in the study did not measure brain function that depends on hormones.
Regardless, this study is interesting as it gives more credence to the need to reduce common stressors during the perimenopause and menopause years. Whether this means incorporating regular exercise, meditating daily, or engaging in deep breathing, well, it might mean the difference between walking into a room with a purpose AND remembering what that purpose is, and walking into a room with purpose, standing there for five minutes wondering why you’re there, and then walking out. Or going to the store without your list and buying everything but what you need (been there, done that!).
Me? I suffer greatly from the latter! But hey, estrogen decline or not,I can always find something else to do in any room or some other “critical” item at the store!
"difference between walking into a room with a purpose AND remembering what that purpose is, and walking into a room with purpose, standing there for five minutes wondering why you’re there, and then walking out" The not remembering is caused by too much TV/movie watching. The cuts in the shows cause activity in the right side of the brain. The left side of the brain becomes less active. It is the left side of the brain that provides for the list of things that you are doing. When you walk into a room the stronger (because of the tv viewing) right side of the brain takes over - the left side still knows what you need to do in the room but it is on the back burner. Cut back on your tv/movie viewing by 90% and the problem will go away in 4 months.