09 November, New York
When it comes to better memory skills, the fairer sex seems to score more than men, researchers have found.
However, the memory of women tends to fade as the oestrogen — female sex hormones — levels decline or as women enter the post-menopause phase.
Memory loss is a well-documented consequence of the ageing process.
In a study published online in the journal Menopause, the findings showed that as women enter the menopause transition period, they develop increased forgetfulness and “brain fog”.
Further, women are also disproportionately at risk for memory impairment and dementia when compared with men.
In addition, declines in oestrogen levels in postmenopausal women were found to be specifically associated with lower rates of initial learning and retrieval of previously recalled information, while memory storage and consolidation were maintained.
Despite these conditions working against them, middle-aged women still outscore their similarly aged male counterparts on all memory measures, the researchers said.
“Brain fog and complaints of memory issues should be taken seriously, as these complaints are associated with memory deficits,” said Jonn Pinkerton, Executive Director at The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) — a US based non-profit organisation.
For the study, the team included 212 men and women aged 45 to 55 years and assessed their episodic memory, executive function, semantic processing, and estimated verbal intelligence through cognitive testing.