Initiation of estrogen-containing hormone therapy after about age 65 increases dementia risk and does not improve memory. The evidence is not as strong, but hormone therapy use around the time of natural menopause probably does not appreciably affect memory. Short-term evidence, however, suggests that prompt initiation of an estrogen after surgical menopause at a relatively young age may improve verbal memory. Long-term effects on Alzheimer disease risk from use of hormone therapy around the time of menopause are unknown. Observational studies suggest protective associations of early estrogen use, but bias cannot be excluded. Selective estrogen-receptor modulators have the potential to affect dementia risk and deserve further study. Possible effects of testosterone supplementation on the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer disease in men are inadequately addressed by existing data. Thyroid disease is a rare cause of dementia, but patients with dementia should be screened for hypothyroidism.
Relationship Disclosure: Dr Henderson has nothing to disclose.
Unlabeled Use of Products/Investigational Use Disclosure: Dr Henderson discusses the use of estrogens, which are not approved for the prevention and treatment of memory loss and dementia.