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Estrogen Increases Activity in Brain’s Memory Center

Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine argue that estrogen may someday be used to improve women’s memory.

Their recent report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that estrogen cause increased brain activity in 46 postmenopausal women. This increased brain activity took place in areas that have been associated with memory.

Researchers hypothesized that estrogen may potentially improve women’s memory by stimulating the brain to make the types of neural connections necessary for good memory. Study author Dr. Sally Shaywitz described the report as “very hopeful” and stated, “It suggests that the neural circuitry in memory for mature individuals… can be changed.”

While estrogen has been credited with many positive health benefits, researchers warned that the drug has also been linked to increased risk for breast and endometrial cancers and should not be viewed as a cure-all.

Sources:

AP - April 7, 1999

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