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Flash: Menopause Can Muddle Memory

The latest answer to the question of whether menopause triggers memory problems suggest that it can, and that women who have the most trouble with their memory also experience the most hot flashes. Researchers from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University tested the attention and recall of 68 women age 44 and 62, all of whom reported having had at least 35 hot flashes per week. The women also recorded their menopause symptoms, mood and memory in questionnaires. The results showed that women who reported having trouble with memory really did have problems, and those who had the most trouble with hot flashes performed worse on the tests and had more difficulty with memory than women who had fewer hot flashes. Another finding: women who reported negative emotions on those questionnaires had lower scores on the memory and recall tests than women who were less troubled by their mood and outlook. Some earlier studies associated memory problems in menopausal women with hot flashes, while other previous investigations didn’t support the connection. The study was published online on May 23, 2013, in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.

Lauren L Drogos, et al “Objective cognitive performance is related to subjective memory complaints in midlife women with moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms,” Menopause, May 13, 2013 doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e318291f5a6

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