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Fertil Steril. 2011 Jan;95(1):152-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2010.05.062. Epub 2010 Jul 29.

A randomized trial of the effect of testosterone and estrogen on verbal fluency, verbal memory, and spatial ability in healthy postmenopausal women.

Author information

1
Department of Women's and Children's Health, Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To test the causal relationship between sex hormones and cognitive skills in postmenopausal women. We hypothesized that testosterone would decrease verbal memory and verbal fluency and increase spatial ability compared with a placebo. For estrogen, we conversely hypothesized that the treatment would increase verbal fluency and verbal memory and decrease spatial ability.

DESIGN:

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial.

SETTING:

Women's health clinical research unit at a university hospital.

PATIENT(S):

Two-hundred healthy, naturally postmenopausal women aged 50-65 years.

INTERVENTION(S):

Randomization to 4 weeks' treatment with testosterone (testosterone undecanoate, 40 mg/day), estrogen (oral E2 2 mg/day) or placebo.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Comparisons in verbal fluency, verbal memory, and spatial ability between the three treatment groups.

RESULT(S):

We found no significant effects of testosterone or estrogen on verbal fluency, verbal memory, or spatial ability.

CONCLUSION(S):

Our results give no support for short-term testosterone or estrogen treatment having any substantial effect on verbal fluency, verbal memory, or spatial ability in healthy postmenopausal women.

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