More women than men are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Age is one of the most significant risk factors for AD. Years ago it was thought that more women had AD because they lived longer than men. But recent research has shown that age is not the only factor. Alzheimer’s Disease starts 20-30 years before someone develops symptoms. It is not a coincidence that this period also coincides with when women go through the menopausal transition. Brain glucose metabolism changes during the years before menopause (perimenopause). One of the hallmarks of AD is a change in fuel utilization in the brain from glucose to ketones. Functional Medicine doctors Dr. Natasha Iyer and Dr. Shabnam Das Kar discuss the importance of hormonal balance, how progesterone is treated as a “poor cousin” and what type of hormone therapy is safe and provides benefits for cognition and heart health.
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- Mosconi, Lisa, et al. “Perimenopause and emergence of an Alzheimer’s bioenergetic phenotype in brain and periphery.” PloS one 12.10 (2017): e0185926.
- Mishra, Aarti, et al. “A Tale of Two Systems: Lessons Learned from Female Mid-Life Aging with Implications for Alzheimer’s Prevention & Treatment.” Ageing research reviews (2021): 101542.
- Sherwin, Barbara B., and Miglena Grigorova. “Differential effects of estrogen and micronized progesterone or medroxyprogesterone acetate on cognition in postmenopausal women.” Fertility and sterility 96.2 (2011): 399-403.