Hormone Replacement & Dementia

As people get older, many start forgetting to do things because of dementia. Some, for example, will put the dish cloth in the freezer instead of on the counter. Many people hoped that taking a combination of estrogen and progestin would prevent dementia from affecting them.

That's because, several years ago, there was growing evidence that hormone replacement therapy seemed to protect women from getting dementia.

A new study shows that thinking may have been wrong... and women who were on the hormone therapy had double the risk of developing dementia compared to those women who were on the placebo.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the hormone therapy used in the study, says the study only looked at older women and the results cannot be carried over to anyone under the age of 65.

Experts say, given the reports that hormone therapy increases a woman's chance of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke, the risks may outweigh the benefits. Whether those increased risks go down when the medicine is stopped won't be known for several years.