Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Estrogen Fails Test As Alzheimer's Treatment

Date:
June 20, 2000
Source:
American Academy Of Neurology
Summary:
Estrogen, by itself in the short term, will probably not protect or restore the memory and other mental functions that patients are losing to Alzheimer's disease. That is the message of a study published in the June 13 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

ST. PAUL, MN -- Estrogen, by itself in the short term, will probably not protect or restore the memory and other mental functions that patients are losing to Alzheimer's disease. That is the message of a study published in the June 13 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers from Taiwan gave estrogen to 25 postmenopausal women with mild or moderate symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and determined that after 12 weeks, the patients scored no better on tests of attention, concentration, memory, and other mental abilities than did 25 patients who had been taking a placebo (inactive pill). Physician evaluations of the patients' disease progression also failed to find differences between the two groups.

"This is the third study this year that showed that estrogen had no effect in the treatment of postmenopausal women with Alzheimer's disease," said Karen Marder, MD, a neurologist at Columbia University in New York and co-author of an editorial accompanying the article. "All three studies were randomized, controlled clinical trials, the gold standard when examining a treatment's effectiveness."

In the Taiwanese trial, patients were assigned at random to receive either estrogen or a placebo, and neither the patient nor the physician knew whether the patient was receiving the drug.

Earlier studies had suggested that postmenopausal Alzheimer's patients might benefit from estrogen replacement therapy, but these trials either had few patients enrolled or were "open-label" studies, studies in which the patients and physicians knew when the patient was receiving estrogen.

The problem with open trials was pointed out by the present study, in which even the patients taking placebo showed mild improvement in some test scores. The authors suggest that this may simply reflect that the patients were already familiar with the tests.

These results are disappointing, but they will still not put scientists off the track of estrogen in the treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's, said both Marder and the authors of the study. There is too much evidence from basic research that shows estrogen combats destructive cellular processes that are the main suspects in the disease.

"Although we had more subjects than previous studies, 50 is probably not enough," said Hsiu-Chih Liu, MD, a neurologist at the Neurological Institute of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan and senior author of the study. "Moreover, it may require a longer period, such as one year, to produce a significant effect."

Liu also questions whether the standard tests of memory and other mental functions used in the study are sensitive enough to detect subtle improvements. Marder adds that estrogen still needs to be tested in conjunction with other drugs, on other dosing regimens, and with other routes of administration, such as a skin patch.

More information is also needed on whether estrogen taken before the onset of Alzheimer's can delay or prevent the disease. Several large scale studies of menopausal and postmenopausal women taking estrogen will begin to yield data in several years on whether estrogen has helped those women avoid Alzheimer's.

Estrogen is known to protect women against osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease and it may yet prove to be helpful in counteracting Alzheimer's. "In my opinion, postmenopausal women should take estrogen and progesterone unless there are contraindications or intolerable side effects," said Liu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy Of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy Of Neurology. "Estrogen Fails Test As Alzheimer's Treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000614074838.htm>.
American Academy Of Neurology. (2000, June 20). Estrogen Fails Test As Alzheimer's Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000614074838.htm
American Academy Of Neurology. "Estrogen Fails Test As Alzheimer's Treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000614074838.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

CDC Issues New Ebola Guidelines for Health Workers

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set up new guidelines for health workers taking care of patients infected with Ebola. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins