A new study has shown menopausal women with a mild cognitive impairment may see a slowing of cognitive decline by taking a combination of a gel-type estrogen and oral progesterone.
The study suggests the possibility of new hormone therapy in postmenopausal women as the first of its kind to show the practical benefit of hormone therapy for cognitive impairment, researchers said.
|Professors Yoon Byung-koo (left) and Na Duk-lyul|
Professor Yoon Byung-koo from Samsung Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Professor Na Duk-lyul from Samsung Medical Center, Department of Neurology, published their findings in the latest edition of the journal Menopause.
The team looked at 37 menopausal women who had mild cognitive impairment from 2008 to 2012 in a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. The average age of the women was 70.
The study divided the women into a 19-person combination therapy treatment group and an 18-person placebo group. Researchers proceeded with several cognitive function tests such as the Korean Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE), Montreal Cognitive Rating Scale (MoCA-K) and dementia exams every six months for two years.
The treatment group was instructed to apply estradiol gel (0.1 percent) daily as a hormone therapy starting at 0.5 mg to 2 mg, raising dosage gradually, and then taking 100 mg of undifferentiated progesterone orally every day after three months.
By the end of the study, 17 out of 35 subjects who finished the study had their disease progress to dementia with the rate being slightly higher in the placebo group than the treatment group (52.9 percent vs. 44.4 percent).
In the placebo group, there was a significant reduction on the MoCA-K scale as time progressed, signaling disease progression.
No difference was seen in the treatment group, indicating a significant difference in the pattern of MoCA-K changes between the two groups, according to SMC.
In the treatment group, subject scored 3.26 points higher on the K-MMSE scale within 24 months and 3.85 points higher on the MoCA-K.
Although both groups showed similar cognitive function on baseline tests, there was a significant difference in the range of decreased function over time, SMC added.
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