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Endocr J. 1994 Aug;41(4):361-71.

Evaluation of estrogen treatment in female patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Koshigaya Hospital, Dokkyo University, Saitama, Japan.


This study was designed to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of estrogen in female patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). Fifteen DAT patients with a mean age of (mean +/- SE) 71.9 +/- 2.4 years were treated with 0.625 mg of conjugated equine estrogens orally twice a day for 6 weeks. Of the 15 DAT patients, 4 were diagnosed as mild, 7 as moderate and 4 as severe. The effects of estrogen on DAT patients were evaluated by psychometric assessments, behavior rating scales, regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) measurement and quantitative EEG analysis. Psychometric assessments consisted of Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Hasegawa Dementia Scale (HDS). Dementia syndromes were evaluated by the GBS-Scale (GBSS) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). During estrogen replacement therapy (ERT), the mean MMSE score (mean +/- SE) increased significantly from 11.6 +/- 1.9 to 13.2 +/- 2.0 at 3 weeks (P < 0.01) and 13.8 +/- 2.0 at 6 weeks (P < 0.001). The mean HDS score increased significantly from 8.6 +/- 2.1 to 11.5 +/- 2.3 at 3 weeks (P < 0.001) and 11.6 +/- 2.6 at 6 weeks (P < 0.01). Significant improvements in the mean scores of the GBSS and HDRS were also observed in the estrogen-treated group, but not in the untreated control group with a mean age of 71.2 +/- 2.5 years (n = 15). The rCBF was measured by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). ERT increased the mean rCBF significantly in the lower frontal region (P < 0.01) and primary motor area (P < 0.02) of the right hemisphere. The mean absolute power delta band values in both left and right frontal EEG (Fp1 and Fp2) (P < 0.01) and theta, band values in Fp2 (P < 0.05) decreased significantly during ERT. It is inferred that ERT significantly improves cognitive functions, dementia symptoms, regional cerebral blood flow and EEG activity in female patients with DAT.

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