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Monday, September 18, 2006

Menopause impairs memory

A new study just reported from McGill University in Montreal confirms that female sex hormone is necessary for optimal memory function in women. In this study, the researchers measured memory before and after menopause in25 women. The women, average age of 36 yrs, had tumors of the uterus and their ovary function was deliberately suppressed to the point of menopause by drugs to control the cancer. Significant decreases in memory scores were produced. The women were still mentally functioning at an acceptable level, but the memory decline "was noticeable and documentable."

By the way, this study confirms (without acknowledging) one of the first experiments I ever did on memory, published in 1968. In that study I removed the ovaries from rats and found that they performed poorly in one-trial learning tests, compared to intact rats. Reference: Communications in Behavior Biology, Vol. 1 (1968), p. 109-114.

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