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Can Hormone Therapy Prevent Dementia And Alzheimer's Disease?

There's no denying the impact that dementia and Alzheimer's have on the United States and around the world. Indeed, the numbers can be staggering — Alzheimer's is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. By the age of 85, half of all Americans will have dementia, which is the precursor to Alzheimer's; the number of Alzheimer's cases is expected to triple by the year 2050.

What's also sobering is that treatments for Alzheimer's have largely been ineffective. Meanwhile, many people still don't realize that dementia, which leads to Alzheimer's, usually begins 15 to 20 years before in the form of mild cognitive impairment.

The good news is that research has shown that hormone optimization (or therapy) has been shown to help prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's.

What Is Hormone Optimization?

As women approach menopause, their levels of estrogen and progesterone, which cause ovulation and menstruation each month, begin to decline. This triggers a variety of annoying and even incapacitating symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, depression, sleep disturbances and more. Using hormone supplements to replace estrogen can alleviate these symptoms.

How Does Hormone Optimization Help?

Studies have shown that both estrogen and testosterone have a neuroprotective role. For one, they prevent cell death, increase blood flow to the brain and decrease nerve inflammation. One such estrogen supplement, 17-beta estradiol, aids verbal memory; a decrease in verbal memory is the primary cause of Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, it has been shown that using testosterone and estradiol reduces the production of beta amyloid, which is the substance found in the brain of people with Alzheimer's disease.

Another recent study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine also provided encouraging results. Postmenopausal women who were at heightened dementia risk but who remained on hormone therapy two years after the study was initiated, had no degeneration in key areas of the brain. In other words, evidence of advanced aging disappeared in those women who carry a gene that puts them at a greater risk for developing Alzheimer's.

How Long Should Hormone Therapy Last?

There's increased evidence that the longer the person is on hormone replacement therapy, the better protection for the brain nerve cells and the lesser the chances of getting dementia and Alzheimer's. It's also suggested that starting earlier with hormone optimization can prevent the initial damage to nerve cells that are predisposed to dementia and Alzheimer's.

Matrix Age Management of Amarillo is a proactive nutrition and fitness program for men and women aged 35-over. Led by Dr. Patrick Proffer, Matrix's custom plans promote proper aging and healthy lifestyles through diet, nutritional supplements, exercise, stress and sleep management, and hormone replacement therapy.

Tags: Hormones

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