Estrogen and Stroke RiskReleased November 3, 2009
- Stroke, also known as a brain attack, is America’s third leading cause of death. It typically occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked, usually due to a clogged artery. When a stroke occurs, brain damage can result, especially in the area known as the hippocampus, thought to be the site for memory, memory loss, and learning. Despite the possible link between estrogen and stroke many women continue to take the hormone to manage their menopausal symptoms. A new study provides support for the theory that there may be a “critical period” for beneficial protective effect of estrogen on the brain – e.g. that of estrogen replacement may need to be initiated prior to or at the time of menopause if estrogen is to protect the brain. Additional studies will need to confirm the findings.