Wednesday Bubble: This is your brain on menopause

Posted by on Aug 14, 2013 in memory/learning, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Yup, it’s that old tell tale sign of middle age, overload and what else? Menopause? In a newly published online¬†review, researchers report that between perimenopause and postmenopause, there are significant declines in executive function, that is, the way that the brain connects past experience with present action. Executive functioning allows people to plan, organize, strategize, recall details and manage time and space. Poor executive function means that some or all of these tasks may be difficult. However, it also affects working memory, that is, what we see in our ‘mind’s eye.’

In a review of four scientific trials conducted in almost 2,000 women, the findings were pretty stark:

Menopause is a period associated specifically with a decline in delayed verbal episodic memory, i.e., the ability to recall words and paragraphs and recall them after a delay, and a small decline in pheonemic verbal fluency, that is saying as many words that begin with a certain letter within a specified timeframe. However, there is a slight light in this tunnel; the researchers explain that these declines are modest, at best. However, even when they took into account factors like age, the results held.

None of this is surprising; I find that I rarely recall the reason I’ve come into a room or why I always forget an item at the grocery store. I find myself staring at web pages and wondering why I am there. And just yesterday, I came to the realization that I actually knew someone that I was trying to contact for work, after two days of trying.

Huh; go figure.

I’m not quite sure what to do with this loss of my brain power, other than to remind myself that I am in good company.

What about you; what did you forget today?


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