Hormonal contraceptives during midlife 'may improve cognitive abilities later'
Premenopausal use of hormonal contraceptives may improve the cognitive abilities of women in midlife and for years afterward, researchers say.
The findings of this study may have implications for prevention of declining cognitive function that occurs with advancing age and in diseases such as Alzheimer's.
The beneficial effects of hormones increase the longer a woman uses them.
Kelly Egan, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Carey Gleason, PhD, William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, Madison, WI, presented the results of cognitive performance tests administered to women enrolled in the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention.
"This study provides preliminary evidence that hormonal contraceptives may have a protective cognitive effect, even years after use is discontinued," Susan G. Kornstein, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health, said.
The study has been published in Journal of Women's Health.