Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) appears to have no positive effect on cognition in post-menopausal women, however it may help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to study results published in PLoS.
Carey E. Gleason, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and colleagues studied the effects of MHT on post-menopausal women as part of the KEEPS-Cog study (Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study – Cognitive and Affective Study). The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial collected data on 693 women, who were randomized to receive either four years of 0.45 mg/d oral conjugated equine estrogens (o-CEE) plus 200 mg/d micronized progesterone (m-P) for the first 12 days of each month (220); 50 μg/d transdermal estradiol (t-E2) plus 200 mg/d m-P for the first 12 days of each month (211); or placebo pills and patches (262). Outcomes were assessed using the Modified Mini-Mental State exam and Profile of Mood States (POMS).
Upon follow-up (mean=2.85 yrs), no treatment-related benefits were observed for cognitive outcomes. Women treated with o-CEE showed improvement in depression and anxiety symptoms over 48-months of treatment compared to women on placebo. Mood outcomes for women on t-E2 were similar to those on placebo.
Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) reportedly increases the risk of cognitive decline in women over age 65 y. It is unknown whether similar risks exist for recently postmenopausal women, and whether MHT affects mood in younger women.
The ancillary Cognitive and Affective Study (KEEPS-Cog) of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) examined the effects of up to 4 y of MHT on cognition and mood in recently postmenopausal women. KEEPS, a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, was conducted at nine US academic centers.