Menopause Triggers Metabolic Brain Changes Linked to Alzheimer’s
Compared to premenopausal women, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women exhibited brain hypometabolism on 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography in the same brain regions as do patients with clinical AD. The findings correlated with reductions in mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (COX) activity.
These findings suggest a “progressively increased risk of an Alzheimer Disease endophenotype in women who undergo the perimenopause to menopause transition and suggest that endocrine aging outweighs the effects of chronological aging in the female’s brain several years, if not decades, before possible clinical symptoms emerge,” the authors write.
“Our findings show that the loss of estrogen in menopause doesn’t just diminish fertility. This study suggests there may be a critical window of opportunity, when women are in their 40s and 50s, to detect metabolic signs of higher Alzheimer’s risk and apply strategies to reduce that risk,” Lisa Mosconi, PhD, associate director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, said in a news release.