Can bio-identicalh ormone therapy help prevent Alzheimer's?

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With the prevalence of Alzheimer's in society, I decided to research the link between bio-identical hormone therapy and Alzheimer's disease. Estradiol effects 400 functions in the body, so how does it affect the brain? Many studies show estrogen (estradiol) can help in the prevention of dementia, heart disease and osteoporosis, especially if administered topically.

According to recent research estrogen increases the levels of the brain neurotransmitters, which are serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin and dopamine levels affect mood and mental energy. Research also indicates improved blood flow to the brain with optimum estrogen levels, thus likely lowering the risk of dementia.

According to research at the University of Southern California, insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) degrades beta-amyloid, a protein fragment strongly associated with Alzheimer's. As estradiol levels decrease the expression of IDE is reduced. This results in a possibility of the brain's inability to dispose of beta amyloid.

An American Journal of Translational Research article, "Potential role of estrogen in the pathobiology and prevention of Alzheimer's Disease," reported "Estrogen therapy begins at the onset of menopause, it benefits the brain and actually decreases a women's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease later in life."

Use of natural occurring estradiol rather than synthetic source is the key to achieving the beneficial effects. The body is unable to metabolize synthetic estrogen effectively resulting in toxins. Bioidentical progesterone not only has shown to be breast protective against cancer but now there is some strong evidence it also protects the brain.

A recent study reported in Neurology, indicates beginning bioidentical hormone therapy within 5 years of menopause were 30 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than women who started years later.

Research is still ongoing to back up previous studies linking bioidentical hormone therapy with Alzheimer's prevention. KEEPS (Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study) continues to increase baseline knowledge about menopausal hormone therapy. Their focus is the prevention or delay of onset of certain disease processes that occur with declining estrogen levels.

Education is key for women to make informed choices on hormone therapy. Bioidentical hormones are a source of hope to women struggling with the many symptoms of hormone depletion.

For more information contact Jan Nelson at (509) 919-4575, jnelson@balancedwellnessmed.com, www.balancedwellnessmed.com.

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