How Menopause Permanently Affects Our Brains...

A doctor holding a stethoscope against a brain.

...and what we can do about it.

Everyone who has experienced (or is currently experiencing menopause or perimenopause), can agree that one of the more challenging symptoms is brain fog.  Brain fog includes forgetfulness, trouble finding the right words or staying on track with a train of thought, and it can be a frightening experience.  Many women fear they are developing early-onset dementia and it is one of the main reasons why women leave work during menopause, as it does can affect performance.

Neuroscience researchers have been studying the effects of menopause on brain health, and have released some startling findings. A study was conducted in Germany and looked at the brains of men and women (both pre- and post-menopausal) with an average age of 54.  The results showed an increase of white matter hyperintensities in post-menopausal women compared to men of the same age, and compared to pre-menopausal women of the same or similar age.

Studies show that white matter hyperintensities are lesions on the brain that are associated with age, and with a decline in cognitive function.  They are considered to be a predictor of developing Alzheimer's or dementia, and decreased executive function and cognitive abilities (although they are not a guarantee that a person will develop these conditions).  They are caused by a number of factors but most notably by decreased blood flow or small blood clots affecting the oxygenation of neural cells, as well as by changes to the immune system or increased demands on the vascular and immune systems. 

We already know that menopause can lead to poor circulation and affect our immune systems, so it is no surprise that post-menopausal women have more of these white matter hyperintensities than others. Interestingly, there was no evidence to suggest that using HRT had any effect on the development of white matter hyperintensities. 

Given that the main causes of these brain lesions is vascular and immune related, it makes sense to provide these systems more support.  Improving blood flow and boosting the immune system (as well as reducing inflammation, which can be a burden on our bodies) are the keys to giving us the best chance of dealing with these problems. 

The Pine Bark Extract in our MenoShake supports circulation, protecting capillary walls and ensuring the optimal health of our vascular system, especially in the brain.  The effect on microcirculation means that even the smallest blood vessels in our brain will function as well as possible, providing our neural cells with the oxygen they need to survive.  It also supports the immune system, along with the B vitamins, and the cocoa powder which helps reduce inflammation.

It must be said that white matter hyperintensities are a fact of aging and do happen to everyone over time.  Research is still ongoing into whether we can avoid developing more of these lesions during menopause or whether it is unavoidable, so while the scientists get busy in the lab, us menopausal women can get busy supporting our bodies in the best way we can!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published