Many elderly women have memory issues. These challenges may range from simply forgetting where they have set their keys to completely losing parts of their past. If you notice signs of memory loss in a woman near and dear to your heart, exploring the potential causes can allow you to better see where this loss may end.
Menopause and Memory Loss
Many women find that the onset of memory loss occurs during or near menopause. As BabyLogicMD reports, this time of memory loss is often the result of hormone changes that occur while women experience this change. Estrogen levels within the woman’s body help regulate cortisol, a chemical that is vital to memory health. When women go through menopause, their estrogen levels decline, potentially allowing cortisol levels to spin out of whack and leading to memory issues.
Dementia and Hormone Replacement Therapy
When the effects of menopause hit, some women turn to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to ease their symptoms. While it may seem that this therapy would balance estrogen levels and lead to enhanced memory, it has been found instead to have a negative impact on memory. In fact, hormone therapy has been tied to an increase in dementia in elderly women. As the National Institutes of Health reports, women who undergo HRT are twice as likely to suffer from dementia. Because of the seriousness of this risk, women should carefully weigh the pros and cons of HRT before they opt to go that route.
Gender Makes a Difference
As WebMD reports, early in the aging process, elderly men are more likely to suffer memory issues than women of the same age. This finding, which came out of the Mayo Clinic, indicates that men in the 70-plus range were more likely to suffer memory deficiency than women of the same age.
Increased Risks Later in Life
Women are more prone to developing late-onset Alzheimer’s than men. Scientists in the field believe that this increased risk can be traced to a genetic anomaly which can only be found in women.
Benefits of Brain Training
Many companies now offer aging women products touted to train the brain and reduce memory loss. While no studies have proven that these products produce any improvement, research does support the use of these products, as some change has been noted in many studies, reports “Prevention” magazine. If you, or the elderly woman in your life, wants to reduce the risks of suffering a memory decline, brain games may be just the ticket.