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Arzneimittelforschung. 2001;51(3):238-45.

Double-blind, placebo-controlled psychometric studies on the effects of a combined estrogen-progestin regimen versus estrogen alone on performance, mood and personality of menopausal syndrome patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychitry, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


The influence of a combined estrogen-progestin regimen (Climodien) on noopsyche, thymopsyche, personality and psychophysiological measures of menopausal syndrome patients was investigated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, comparative, randomized 3-arm trial phase (Climodien 2/3 = estradiol valerate (CAS 979-32-8) 2 mg + the progestin dienogest (CAS 65928-58-7) 3 mg = regimen A, estradiol valerate 2 mg = regimen EV, and placebo = regimen P) followed by an open-label phase in which all patients received Climodien 2/2 (estradiol valerate 2 mg + dienogest 2 mg) = regimen A*. 49 women (16, 17, 16 valid patients per arm) aged between 46 and 67 years (mean 58, 58, 56 years, respectively) with the diagnoses of insomnia (G 47.0) related to postmenopausal syndrome (N 95.1) were included in the analysis of the double-blind phase. Both the double-blind and the open-label phase lasted 2 months. Noopsychic investigations demonstrated an improvement in associative verbal memory after 2 months of regimen A, which was significant as compared with both baseline and placebo. Regarding visual memory, regimen A* induced an improvement, which was significantly different from the decline in correct reproductions in the Benton Test observed under estradiol. Errors in the Benton Test decreased significantly after regimen A* as compared with regimen EV. These findings suggest that hormone replacement therapy with estradiol, and even more in combination with dienogest, improves verbal and visual memory, which is in line with the improvement in information processing speed and capacity objectified by event-related potentials (ERP). Thymopsychic investigations demonstrated a significant improvement in somatic complaints and trait anxiety after both regimen A and regimen EV as compared with baseline. State anxiety decreased significantly under regimen A* as compared with EV. The Freiburger Personality Inventory showed an improvement in aggressivity after regimen A* as compared with the preceding placebo as well as an improvement in striving after dominancy after both regimen A and regimen EV as compared with pre-treatment, but also after regimen A* as compared with regimen EV. Extraversion increased after 2 months of regimen A as compared to regimen P. Psychophysiological findings including pupillary and skin conductance variables were not significant.

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