OBJECTIVE: To review and critically analyze the biological plausibility of and the clinical empirical evidence concerning a link between estrogen levels and memory in women.
DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE search of the literature published from 1980 to 1998. Studies published between 1952 and 1980 that were known to the author were also included.
STUDY SELECTION: Sixteen prospective, placebo-controlled studies in humans.
DATA SYNTHESIS: Most of the studies that used neuropsychological tests with known reliability and validity found that estrogen maintained aspects of memory in women.
CONCLUSIONS: Estrogen specifically maintains verbal memory in women and may prevent or forestall the deterioration in short- and long-term memory that occurs with normal aging. There is also evidence that estrogen decreases the incidence of Alzheimer disease or retards its onset or both.
Source: J Psychiatry Neurosci 1999 Sep;24(4):315-21
PMID: 10516798, UI: 99445971
(Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Que. email@example.com)