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Estrogen Won't Make Women Sharper After Menopause, Study Finds

Researchers see no brain benefits even in early postmenopause

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Dr. Marc Gordon, chief of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., agreed that this finding doesn't "support the hypothesis that younger postmenopausal women would be more responsive to the beneficial effects of estrogen on their mental abilities."

He also said the correlation between higher progesterone levels and better memory and thinking skills in younger women needs to be replicated. "It is not yet clear what the effect of this sex hormone on the brain may be," he added.

The study relied on data on more than 600 postmenopausal women, aged 41 to 84. None of them was using hormone replacement therapy.

Researchers administered a series of tests to gauge the women's memory and overall thinking skills. They also assessed them for depression, and measured levels of the hormones estradiol, estrone, progesterone and testosterone.

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