Victor W. Henderson, MD, MS

Publication Details

  • The neurology of menopause NEUROLOGIST Henderson, V. W. 2006; 12 (3): 149-159


    Menopause is a normal milestone experienced annually by 2 million American women each year, and many women are concerned about the relation between menopause and health. Associated hormonal changes have the potential to influence neurologic disease, as do hormonal therapies prescribed for menopausal symptoms or other conditions. The objective of this article is to increase neurologists' awareness of the relation between menopause and neurologic illness.This was a focused review of 4 common neurologic disorders potentially influenced by menopause or by estrogen-containing hormone therapy: stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson disease, and Alzheimer disease. Hormonal effects are germane to each illness, although clinical implications are clearer for stroke and Alzheimer disease than for epilepsy and Parkinson disease. For women with epilepsy, few clinical data directly address the role of menopause or estrogen-containing hormone therapy on seizure frequency. Relevant clinical research findings on Parkinson disease are inconsistent and provide an inadequate basis for practice guidelines. There is clinical trial evidence that hormone therapy does not reduce stroke incidence and may increase risk of ischemic stroke; hormone therapy cannot be recommended for stroke prevention. The natural menopausal transition is not characterized by objective memory loss. There is clinical trial evidence that hormone therapy should not be used for the postmenopausal woman age 65 years or older for the preservation of cognitive skills, prevention of dementia, or treatment of dementia due to Alzheimer disease. Long-term cognitive consequences of short-term hormone therapy used by younger women for menopausal symptoms remains an important area of uncertainty.Increased awareness of hormonal influences on neurologic illness is important for the practicing neurologist.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/01.nrl.0000215750.52786.b1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000237691400004

    View details for PubMedID 16688016

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