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Hormone therapy may prove memorable

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3:39pm, February 15, 2001

Hormone-replacement treatment appears to protect healthy older women from verbal-memory losses that typically accompany aging, a new study finds.

However, this estrogen and progesterone therapy confers no benefit to the women on tests of attention, visualizing items in space, and memory for pictures and quantities, according to a report in the February American Journal of Psychiatry.

Earlier investigations that asked whether hormone-replacement treatment boosts memory and thinking in healthy women after menopause yielded mixed results. In part, the confusion may result because women who elect to receive hormone therapy are often healthier and better educated than those who don't. So, hormone recipients may start out with a cognitive advantage.

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