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HRT could reduce Alzheimer’s diagnoses in at-risk women

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HRT could reduce Alzheimer’s diagnoses in at-risk women

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might reduce the probability of Alzheimer’s disease in at-risk women, according to new research published in the Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy Journal.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and University of Edinburgh found that HRT was associated with better memory and larger brain volumes for those carrying the APOE4 gene, known to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study took data from 1,178 women who are part of the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia initiative, which studies participants’ brain health over time. All women were over 50 years of age and had no dementia diagnosis.

During the observational study, researchers reviewed the results of cognitive tests and brain volumes on MRI scans. They did not measure whether the women involved went on to develop dementia.

“It is too early to say for sure that HRT reduces dementia risk in women, but our results highlight the potential importance of HRT and personalised medicine in reducing Alzheimer’s risk,” said Professor Michael Hornberger of UEA’s Norwich Medical School.

“The next stage of this research will be to carry out an intervention trial to confirm the impact of starting HRT early on cognition and brain health. It will also be important to analyse which types of HRT are most beneficial.”

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