Is cognitive functioning detrimentally affected after early, induced menopause?

Vearncombe, Katharine J. and Pachana, Nancy A. (2009) Is cognitive functioning detrimentally affected after early, induced menopause?. Menopause, 16 1: 188-198. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e3181775eb4

Author Vearncombe, Katharine J.
Pachana, Nancy A.
Title Is cognitive functioning detrimentally affected after early, induced menopause?
Journal name Menopause   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1072-3714
Publication date 2009-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181775eb4
Volume 16
Issue 1
Start page 188
End page 198
Total pages 11
Editor Wulf H. Utian
Isaac Schiff
Diane Graham
Place of publication New York, NY, U.S.A.
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
1701 Psychology
920507 Women's Health
Formatted abstract
Objective: Investigations into the cognitive effects of surgically and chemically induced menopause are frequently combined with naturally occurring menopause and hormone therapy. However, there is some evidence that women who undergo surgical menopause may experience more cognitive decline post surgery as well as more benefit from subsequent hormone therapy use than women who experience naturally occurring menopause. Little is known about the effects of chemically induced menopause on cognitive function. The aim of this review was to examine whether premature menopause affects cognitive functioning.

Design: PubMed, MEDLINE, and PsychINFO searches of the literature published from 1988 to 2007 pertaining to the understanding of the relationships between induced menopause and cognitive dysfunction were reviewed. Those combining induced menopause with natural menopause, those involving a disease process (eg, dementia), and animal studies were excluded.

Results and Conclusions: Although smaller prospective studies have found that surgical menopause is associated with specific deficits in the memory (visual and verbal) and verbal fluency domains, larger randomized, controlled trials have generally found no effect of surgical menopause on cognitive functioning. The effects of chemical menopause are harder to assess as only three prospective trials have explicitly investigated the effect of induced menopause in the context of breast cancer treatment, and the results remain inconclusive. However, as surgical and chemical menopause both comprise the abrupt withdrawal of estrogen, there is the potential that this process may exert neurobiological effects that are different from those occurring with natural menopause and further prospective investigations comprising pre- and postsurgical/chemotherapy neuropsychological assessments are warranted.
© 2009 by The North American Menopause Society
Keyword Cognition
Menopausal transition
Surgical menopause
Chemotherapy-induced menopause
Chemical menopause
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
School of Psychology Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 29 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 31 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 29 Mar 2010, 13:00:30 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology