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What is ‘brain fog’ during menopause?

What is ‘brain fog’ during menopause?

Just over sixty girls report cognitive difficulties during their menopause transition, writes Caroline Gurvich, Chen Zhu, and Shalini Arunogiri, from Monash University during this composition republished from The discussion.

For nearly two-thirds of girls, menopause comes with an undesirable change in memory.

Despite great progress in understanding the medical aspects of menopause — a natural part of life that happens when a lady has not had a menstrual period for twelve months — we were only starting to recognise the experience and impact of cognitive changes during menopause.

In most cases, it appears cognitive changes — that is, problems with thinking, reasoning or remembering — during menopause are subtle and possibly temporary. except for some women, these difficulties can negatively impact work productivity. And for others, they will raise concerns about developing dementia.

The Big M

Menopause marks the top of reproductive years. It can happen naturally, at a mean age of forty-nine years, when the hairlike follicles within the ovaries are exhausted. Menopause also can happen surgically, with the removal of both ovaries (for illustration to scale back the danger of ovarian cancer).

The change from reproductive to postmenopausal years mentioned as “ perimenopause” usually lasts four to ten years.

The symptoms of menopause, which may include vasomotor symptoms ( hot flashes and night sweats), vaginal dryness, sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety and “ brain fog” can span perimenopause and last for over to ten years.

What quite foggy thinking?

Just over sixty girls report cognitive difficulties during their menopause transition.

Women describe difficulties remembering people’s names or finding the proper word in the discussion. Some describe difficulties with concentrating or making decisions. As discussed in our recent review, these “ subjective cognitive difficulties” appear to be linked to performance on tests of memory, recall and processing.

Difficulties on tests of verbal memory ( learning and remembering information new words you have got heard), verbal fluency ( quickly retrieving words from your memory) and a spotlight are seen in perimenopausal women.

Women at work

While the degree of cognitive decline is subtle and performance generally remains within the traditional limits of functioning, the symptoms are often bothersome for the individual. For multiple women, menopause coincides with the prime of their productive lives, when a load of caring for youthful children has eased and that they have garnered experience and seniority in the workplace.

There is growing interest in the impact of menopausal symptoms in the workplace. Research suggests menopause symptoms can adversely affect work productivity and work satisfaction.

Contributing factors include poor concentration and poor memory. The retention of menopausal female workers is vital, for ladies themselves, but also to make sure we still strive for workforce diversity within our modern workforce.

What causes menopausal brain fog?

“ Brain fog” is not a medical or cerebral term, but a lay term that aptly describes the fogginess in thought experienced by multiple women during menopause.

Menopause related cognitive changes aren’t just age-related cognitive decline. Rather, fluctuating and eventual decline of ovarian hormone production related to menopause is probably going to play a key role.

Hormones produced by the ovaries, estradiol (a sort of estrogen) and progesterone, are potent brain chemicals that are thought to guard the brain and enhance thinking and memory. The fluctuations and eventual loss of estradiol have been suggested to contribute to cognitive difficulties.

Cognitive symptoms can occur in the absence of other menopausal symptoms. this suggests other menopausal symptoms are not liable for cognitive symptoms. Still, menopause-related depressive and anxiety symptoms, sleep disturbance and vasomotor symptoms may make cognitive symptoms worse.

Is there a link with Alzheimer’s illness?

Alzheimer’s illness is the commonest sort of dementia and being female may be a danger factor. The greater longevity of girls does not explain this increased danger.

Rather, the loss of estradiol related to menopause has been suggested to play a role. Early menopause, similar to surgical menopause before the age of forty-five years, has been related to an increased danger of dementia later in life also as a faster rate of cognitive decline.

Because similar symptoms may present during menopause and therefore the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease ( forgetfulness and word-chancing difficulties) perimenopausal women can become concerned about dementia.

Women should be reassured that dementia that begins before age sixty-five called youthful onset dementia is not common (unless there is a family history of early-onset dementia). Forgetfulness and other cognitive difficulties during the menopausal transition are common and a standard part of menopause.

What can help?

Although fluctuations and an eventual decline in estrogen play a role in cognitive difficulties, the utilization of hormone therapy does not appear to possess a clear benefit on cognitive function (but evidence remains limited).

Further research is required to work out whether lifestyle factors can help menopausal brain fog. We do know exercise can improve cognition during midlife, mindfulness and meditation could also be helpful.

At Monash University, we were presently conducting a web survey for ladies aged forty-five to sixty to raised understand cognitive symptoms during menopause.

Avoiding illicit drugs, prescription overuse, smoking and excessive alcohol could also be protective. A diet that has plant-based unprocessed foods ( like a Mediterranean diet), close social bonds and engagement, and a better level of education is broadly linked to raised cognitive functioning during later life.

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by ichhori.com Reference: ichhori.com

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