As defined by neuroscientist, nutritionist, and affiliate director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical Faculty Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., in a mindbodygreen podcast episode, reproductive hormones play a large position in defending our brains from injury (such because the amyloid plaques related to Alzheimer’s illness).
“The interactions between the mind and the reproductive organs are actually essential for mind well being and mind ageing—particularly in ladies,” she says. “We have a tendency to consider testosterone [and] estrogens as concerned in replica, having children. However in actuality, these hormones have a whole lot of results inside our brains.”
“Specifically, they actually push our neurons to convey glucose to make vitality. So in case your hormones are excessive, your mind vitality is excessive. However then what occurs to testosterone is that it would not fairly decline that a lot over time, whereas for girls, estrogens just about plummet when ladies undergo menopause,” Mosconi shares.
It is this plummet in estrogen that leaves ladies’s brains particularly weak after they hit menopause of their 40s or 50s. “When you consider these hormones as having some form of superpowers for the mind, ladies lose the superpower across the time that menopause hits, proper? And the mind is left somewhat extra weak,” Mosconi says.
Like menopause, having your uterus or ovaries eliminated (i.e., a hysterectomy or oophorectomy) additionally leads to a drastic drop in estrogen ranges. Different intervals of hormonal fluctuations—resembling puberty and being pregnant—affect estrogen ranges as properly, which explains why some hormonal well being components depart ladies at larger threat whereas others assist shield their brains.