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Neuroreport. 2006 Jan 23;17(1):101-4.

Hormone replacement therapy, brain volumes and white matter in postmenopausal women aged 60-64 years.

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Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.


Research on the structural and functional effects of hormone replacement therapy on the brain has produced inconsistent results. This paper reports on cross-sectional associations between hormone replacement therapy use and volumes of brain structures measured using magnetic resonance imaging in 213 postmenopausal women aged 60-64 years recruited from a large population study. Of these, 64 were current hormone replacement therapy users, 69 previous users and 80 had never used hormone replacement therapy. No differences were observed between groups in total grey matter, white matter, hippocampal or amygdalar volumes, severity or volume of white matter hyperintensities, or in different measures of brain atrophy. While acknowledging the limitations of a cross-sectional study, the results argue against hormone replacement therapy being protective against brain changes associated with ageing in women in their early 60s.

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