If you’ve experienced a loved one succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease, you know it can be extremely challenging. The medical community still knows too little about this disease, but we do know that it’s important to explore the most effective ways to prevent it well before symptoms arise. One promising development in Alzheimer’s studies is the link between female hormones and Alzheimer’s, meaning hormone replacement therapy may be an effective way to prevent its effects. Here’s what to know about this connection and how our providers at Hybrid Medical Solution can help.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that heavily impacts memory and other important functions of the brain. It’s the most common cause of dementia, or severe memory loss and cognitive decline. There’s still much to be learned about why it happens, but it’s thought that the brain cells and their connections begin to break down and become unable to perform important functions. This typically happens later in life, or after age 65. Alzheimer’s that occurs before this age is sometimes called early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Women are at a higher risk of developing dementia than men, although it’s not completely understood why. It’s believed that this is connected to the role of estrogen, the hormone responsible for many important functions of the female body. Beginning with perimenopause in their late 30s to 40s, estrogen levels begin to decline for many women. Estrogen levels are typically at their lowest during menopause (typically around age 50). It’s thought that this could play a role in Alzheimer’s and dementia developing later on – and that estrogen plays a very important role in protecting the brain as well as supporting learning functions and chemical signals.
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is a therapy that uses hormones compatible with those found in the body to elevate and balance hormone levels. It comes in a variety of different forms including pellets, injections, and patches. It can be an effective therapy for men and women experiencing symptoms of low hormone levels, but special attention has been paid to menopausal women and how BHRT may be a protective measure against Alzheimer’s.
There are conflicting studies about whether BHRT can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s. It’s believed that timing is the most important factor in whether BHRT can reduce the risk of dementia, and that starting BHRT too late may not have any benefit in lowering the risk of dementia. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many benefits to BHRT for menopausal women. The best step in exploring whether BHRT can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s is by consulting our providers to learn more.
There’s still much to learn about Alzheimer’s and dementia, but our team can help you minimize your risk and ease symptoms of hormone imbalance with our concierge approach. To get started, contact our Boca Raton office by calling or filling out our online form.