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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Estrogen Dilemma


“Why did my primary-care physician give me an antidepressant when I could have had something simple, like estrogen?” she asked. “Why don’t they know?”....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Did you know, 68 percent of the persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease are women?
“Sixty-eight percent of all victims of Alzheimer’s are women. Is it just because they live longer? Let’s say it is, for purposes of discussion. Let’s say it’s just because these ladies get old. Do we just say, ‘Who cares?’ and move them into a nursing home? Or alternatively, maybe they are telling us something.” -- Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton

There is a great article in the New York Times magazine that I want to bring to the attention of women. Women that read this blog, their friends and children.

This article cuts across a broad spectrum of diseases, but is focused on hormones, estrogen and something called the timing hypothesis.
This proposition, that estrogen’s effects on our minds and our bodies may depend heavily upon when we first start taking it, is a controversial and very big idea. It has a working nickname: “the timing hypothesis.”
There are some very interesting hypotheses about the health of the brain and Alzheimer's in the article.

If the timing hypothesis proves right and estrogen really does protect brains and hearts as long as we start it "at the right time", the calculation only grows that much more important and complex.
“These women thought they were losing their minds,” Brizendine told me, describing the 40-to-60-year-old patients she began seeing when she opened the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at the university in 1994. “In 1994 we didn’t have words for it,” she said. “Now we do. It’s called perimenopausal depression.”
“Why did my primary-care physician give me an antidepressant when I could have had something simple, like estrogen?” she asked. “Why don’t they know?”....

I am a man. But, it seems to me that all women in the their forties should be reading this. Some women might be feeling like they are going nuts, and maybe they aren't.

The article does contain a lot of useful information about research and Alzheimer's disease.

Go here to read The Estrogen Dilemma



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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,300 articles with more than 9,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room