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Neurobiol Aging. 2011 Oct;32(10):1808-17. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2009.11.002. Epub 2009 Dec 9.

A randomized controlled trial of estrogen treatment in men with mild cognitive impairment.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, McGill University, 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1B1.


This randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over study investigated whether estrogen treatment would have a beneficial effect on tests of verbal memory in men with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Forty-three men newly diagnosed with MCI were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests before randomly receiving 12 weeks of treatment with estrogen or placebo followed by a 12 week cross-over treatment. A significant improvement in the total score, and in two subscale scores of the Buschke Selective Reminding Test occurred following estrogen treatment compared to both pretreatment and post-placebo scores (p<0.05). However, benefit occurred only in the men who had received estrogen for 12 weeks following 12 weeks of placebo. Although these findings tentatively suggest that treatment with estrogen may improve verbal memory in men with MCI, the fact that the improvement occurred only in the group that received estrogen following 12 weeks of placebo and the absence of improvement on every test of verbal memory administered suggests that these findings need to be replicated using a larger sample size.

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