In the conflict of the sexes, women have long claimed that they can remember things better and longer than men can. A new study proves that middle-aged women do better than age-matched men on all memory measures, although memory does decline as women enter post menopause. The study is being published online in , the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) named Menopause.
Memory loss, unluckily, is a well-documented consequence of the aging process. Epidemiological estimates propose that approximately 75% of older adults report memory-related problems. Women report increased forgetfulness rather called “brain fog” during the menopause transition. In addition, women are disproportionately at risk for memory impairment and dementia compared to men. Despite these conditions working against them, middle-aged women still outscore their equally aged male counterparts on all memory measures, according to the study.
The cross-sectional study of 212 men and women aged 45 to 55 years assessed episodic memory, semantic processing, executive function and estimated verbal intelligence through cognitive testing. Associative memory and episodic verbal memory were assessed using a Face-Name Selective Reminding Test and Associative Memory Exam.
In addition to comparing sex differences, the study also found that premenopausal and perimenopausal women outdo postmenopausal women in a number of key memory areas. Declines in estradiol levels in postmenopausal women were particularly associated with lower rates of initial learning and retrieval of previously recalled information, while memory storage and consolidation were maintained.