Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Can Hormones Protect Women From Dementia?

If you would like to discuss these findings, or other issues surrounding menopause, go to WebMD's Women's Health: Menopause board. continued...

Although the results of the Evista study are discouraging, Richard Mayeaux, MD, says it's premature to conclude that hormone therapy has no role in preserving mental functioning and memory.

"This was an opportunity to try this drug in a large population and it didn't work," says Mayeaux, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. "There were some modest benefits but not enough for [the scientists] to be convinced that this drug was effective."

But he points out that women in the study may have had even less estrogen than the average woman because they had osteoporosis, which is associated with reductions in estrogen levels.

"So they may have been studying the wrong population of women to begin with," Mayeaux tells WebMD. "The other possibility is that it's the wrong drug."

Researchers will be looking forward to the results of two important studies now underway that are tracking mental functioning of postmenopausal women on estrogen. Those studies are PREPARE -- being conducted by the National Institute on Aging -- and the Women's Health Initiative. Both studies are not scheduled for completion for several years.

Mayeaux says for now, the best advice for women regarding estrogen is not to take it for the sole purpose of trying to prevent dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

"[On] the basis of what we know today, we can't make a recommendation to take it. If you're taking estrogen for some other reason or because your doctor thinks it's a good idea or you have osteoporosis, you may benefit from it in terms of your mental abilities, but I wouldn't feel comfortable, nor should anyone feel comfortable, recommending estrogen for this purpose at this time," says Mayeaux.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror