While women do end up experiencing forgetfulness and what is called ‘brain fog’, among other problems linked to remembering stuff, they still have better overall memory when compared to men. According to a new study, the memory capabilities of both middle-aged men and women were compared. The results showed that women performed better than men across all of the measures that were considered by the current study.
The results from the study also provided data about decrease in memory that postmenopausal women have to face. Such women had trouble when it came to remembering or recalling previous data or learning something new.
Looking at all tasks related to memory, women who were aged 45-55 were able to outperform men of the same age. This was true even though women experienced problems related to their memory during menopause. However, the onset of menopause did decrease the rate at which women could initially learn and retrieve recalled information. Low level of estradiol was considered a reason for such a decrease. The current study was published in the journal Menopause.
In order to conduct the current research, a total of 212 women and men were assessed by the team of researchers. All of the participants were aged 45-55. The researchers studied executive function, estimated verbal intelligence, episodic memory, and semantic processing. The Selective Reminding Test and Face-Name Associative Memory Exam were used by the team in order to test episodic verbal memory and associative memory. The results showed that men were outperformed by women across all of the memory-related factors considered for this study.
Coming to postmenopausal women, low level of estradiol was said to be the cause of reduced memory. This conclusion was made after comparing such women to premenopausal and perimenopausal females. According to the current researchers, about 75% of older individuals end up facing problems related to their memory. This holds especially true with regards to women. The low level of estradiol has been known to have a link with changes in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that has a role to play in memory.
Being forgetful and ‘brain fog’ is experienced by women as they transition into menopause. Furthermore, women are also at higher risk of developing dementia and impairment in their memory compared to men. The current study has come forward with information about the affected areas. Though the potential to retrieve information and initial learning does decrease, the consolidation and storage of memory is able to remain intact in women who are postmenopausal.
According to Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, who is the executive director at NAMS, complaints having to do with issues in memory and brain fog shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is due to the current research, and others, suggesting that these complaints have a link with deficits in memory.
The current study isn’t without its limitations. It would’ve been far more effective if it had been longitudinal rather than cross-sectional. This is because a similar study that would’ve taken passing time into consideration would’ve been able to deliver far effective conclusions.
Another potential cause of women facing such memory problems might be due to estrogen. Further research is required to understand healthy aging and looking at signs that are linked to Alzheimer’s and loss in memory as an individual grown older.