She has been particularly concerned about what may happen to her cognitive abilities. She says that she has heard so much about menopause brain fog. She is worried about alzheimers.
She asked “has my brain been affected by the removal of my ovaries?”.
Until now, I have not been able to provide a definitive answer to this question. Studies to look into this matter, had not been conducted.
There have been studies that have shown a definite link between memory loss and menopause. They have shown that the reduced mental faculties experienced my many women during menopause is temporary. Their cognitive abilities return after menopause. But is the same true for surgical menopause?
A new study that looked into the affect that surgical menopause has on cognitive function, has reported its findings.
Has My Brain Been Affected By The Removal of My Ovaries?
Here is an excerpt from an article that reports on the findings this new study
The younger a woman is when she undergoes surgical menopause, the greater her chances of developing memory problems at an earlier age, new research suggests.
Surgical menopause describes the end of ovarian function due to gynecological surgery before the age of natural menopause. It involves the removal of one or both ovaries (an oophorectomy), often in combination with a hysterectomy, the removal of a woman’s uterus.
“For women with surgically induced menopause, early age at menopause was associated with a faster decline in memory,” said study author Dr. Riley Bove, an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School and an associate neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. However, she stressed, “These are very preliminary data.”
Bove said other research suggests a link between a decrease in the hormone estrogen during menopause and mental decline.
I think that a significant difference between the findings of this study and previous studies that looked into the affect that natural menopause has on cognitive function, is that surgically induced menopause can lead to diminished cognitive abilities that are permanent. For women experiencing natural menopause it is temporary.
The researcher found that having surgically induced menopause at an earlier age was associated with faster declines in thinking ability and certain kinds of memory. Long-term memory relating to concepts and ideas and episodic memory of events were both affected.
The earlier the age that a woman experiences surgical menopause, the faster she will experience decline in long-term memory related to concepts and ideas, in memory that relates to time and places and in overall thinking abilities.
Is this inevitable? There is no evidence that this is inevitable. Further studies need to be done to determine this, but my guess is that there are things that a woman, who has experienced surgical menopause, can do to reduce the risk of cognitive decline in later years.
My advice to a woman who is experiencing surgically induced menopause is to follow a healthy nutritious diet, exercise regularly and take a vitamin B12 supplement.
If you eat nutritiously, exercise will deliver to your brain, the vitamins and minerals it needs for properly functioning memory, concentration, emotions, mood and performing certain mental tasks.
Memory loss is related to a deficiency in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 protects neurons and is fundamental to healthy brain performance and memory.
If you are asking has my brain been affected by the removal of my ovaries, it would depend upon how long ago you experienced the onset of surgical menopause. If you implement the above nutritional and exercise advice relatively soon after surgically induced menopause, I believe that you will reduce your risk of declining cognitive function in later years. But even if a number of years have elapsed since the onset of your menopause, I would still follow this advice…..what do you have to lose?
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