It’s an increasingly common condition and a growing concern in this country and around the world. Researchers across the globe work diligently toward finding a cure for the condition, while other researchers are working to understand the cause. While some theories about why Alzheimer’s develops include exposure to environmental toxins, aluminum, genetics and aging, and even Porphyromonas gingivalis, a type of bacteria known to cause gum disease, a new study suggests a connection between Alzheimer’s disease and the change in hormones that occurs during menopause.
The study, published recently in the Wall Street Journal, reported that Alzheimer’s researchers are looking into the connection because almost two-thirds of those diagnosed with the condition are women.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease causes the progressive deterioration of cognitive ability and memory. The most common symptoms include loss of memory, changes in speech, personality changes, mood swings and the decline in the ability to care for oneself.
Alzheimer’s disease affects nearly 4 million Americans. While the majority of those affected show signs around age 65, some individuals see symptoms begin around the age of 40, a condition known as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
How Does Menopause Make a Difference?
When estrogen levels drop during menopause, the body can experience significant effects. Many women report having mood swings, hot flashes, changes in hair and skin quality, night sweats and also memory loss. This is because when estrogen levels decline, the brain changes as the neural activity takes a dip.
Alzheimer’s researchers have also realized that estrogen plays a role in preventing the development of both tau protein and amyloid beta plaques, two factors that have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Can Hormones Help?
The possibility of a connection between Alzheimer’s disease and menopause has some scientists wondering about the benefits of hormone therapy as a preventative. But, HRT has its own drawbacks, as not all women can tolerate it and it can leave some at risk for developing other health concerns, such as breast or ovarian cancer.
The State of Alzheimer’s Disease
As of now, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, although some conventional treatments can reduce how fast the condition develops. Some individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease are seeing the benefits of using their own stem cells to treat symptoms. Learn more about personal stem cell therapy and how it may help by calling Innovations Stem Cell at 214-643-8665 for a consultation.