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Brain Cogn. 1999 Apr;39(3):203-18.

Lifelong estrogen exposure and cognitive performance in elderly women.

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The Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, USA.


Fluctuating endogenous and exogenous estrogens influence cognition in women. In this study, cognitive functioning in elderly women was examined by applying methodology used in understanding the effects of chronic estrogen exposure on hormone-sensitive tissue other than the brain. An index, combining menstrual, reproductive, and physical markers associated with estrogen levels, was developed for elderly, nondemented, predominantly Caucasian women (n = 87). This index related to better performance on two verbal factors, one attentional and one global in nature. Findings suggest that estrogen exposure across the life span plays a role in brain aging. Possible physiological mechanisms for this effect are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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