Boston: The menopause does cause memory loss, doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York have discovered.
Research shows that the stress of women’s lives combined with a drop in the hormone oestrogen makes them struggle to learn information in the way they did when they were younger.
Scientists say many menopausal women have difficulty recalling facts or names, causing them to worry that their memories are fading.
Doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York said they had noticed more such women attending clinics fearing they may be developing early Alzheimer’s disease. But it was discovered that the women who complained of forgetfulness were actually simply having problems learning new information.
They found that contrary to what many of the participants feared, there was no evidence that the women had worse memory problems than normal.
In fact, they had just never had the time to learn things properly in the first place. Although all were perfectly capable of learning new facts, for some reason they did not fully absorb them.
The researchers said the problem was similar to when a doctor tells a patient something serious may be wrong and provides lots of detailed information. Later the patient can often barely remember what was said to them.
The findings could help menopausal women to discover new ways to improve their recall powers. The researchers have called for larger studies to confirm their findings.