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For estrogen to enhance learning and memory, nerve cells in the brain called cholinergic neurons are essential to the process, suggest animal studies performed by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. "Estrogen replacement in postmenopausal women has important effects on mood and cognition. This research was focused on trying to understand what estrogen does in the brain to reduce the effects on brain aging and cognitive decline," said Robert Gibbs, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy.
Excessive bleeding, a troublesome side-effect that causes many women to stop taking hormone replacement therapies (HRT), is less likely with progesterone than with more commonly used synthetic versions. Results from a national clinical trial published in the November issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, show that a combination of estrogen and micronized progesterone (MP) causes fewer days and less intense bleeding than the most commonly used combination. Previous studies have shown that unacceptable bleeding is the reason that most women discontinue HRT during the first year of therapy.
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