As a sex hormone, estrogen plays a vital role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and contributes to the development and reproductive health of women. In addition to influencing gender characteristics and sexual behavior, estrogen has broader effects on the body, such as protecting against cardiovascular diseases, bone fragility, and regulating brain temperature.
When women enter menopause and estrogen production decreases, various changes occur in the body. These include an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and bone fractures, fluctuations in temperature regulation, deteriorated sleep quality, mood swings, and memory falter. There is ongoing research on the roles of estrogen in health, including its potential link to brain health and memory diseases.
Recent research from University College London suggests that estrogen may have a protective role in the development of memory disorders like dementia. This finding is based on data obtained from the British Biobank, which includes information on fertile years, hormone replacement therapy use, and surgeries related to reproductive health.
While there is evidence suggesting a protective role of estrogen in brain health, there is no consensus on the association between hormone replacement therapy use and dementia. The conflicting findings can be attributed to various factors that complicate large-scale studies such as confounding variables and unreliable self-reported information. Furthermore, the protective effects of estrogen may vary across different types of dementia – for example