KEY POINTS

  • Most women in the age group 45-55 go through menopause
  • Hot flashes occur in menopause due to the fall in estrogen hormone
  • New study: hot flashes can affect women's memory

You can now blame your menopause for forgetting your keys, having a name slip out of your mind or forget what you wanted to say to someone. A new study reported that physiologic hot flashes are linked to low verbal memory and can lead to alterations in the functions of the brain during memory processing.

The study, published in the Menopause: The Journal of The North American Menopause Society, documented the occurrence of hot flashes and their effect on the brain regions particularly the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex during a memory task.

Although larger studies are required to completely evaluate the reliability of the association between hot flashes in menopause and altered brain function, the findings of this study provided new insights into specific brain regions that are involved in memory to be adversely affected by hot flashes during menopause.

"The findings of this preliminary study, although small, support an association between objectively monitored hot flashes and adverse functional changes in the brain that affect memory. Further study is needed to determine whether hot flashes actually cause these brain changes and whether treatment of hot flashes will prevent or normalize them," MedicalXpress quoted Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.

A drop in the estrogen hormone is expected to be causing the hot flashes during menopause. The hypothalamus region of the brain, which regulates your body temperature gets affected during the fall in estrogen levels and, as a result, it can detect too much body heat. For most women, hot flashes in menopause decrease gradually.

Other symptoms of menopause include vaginal dryness, chills, night sweats, mood changes, weight gain, thinning hair, loss of breast fullness, slowed metabolism and disturbed sleep. Each woman might go through different sets of symptoms and most likely, all of them experience irregularity in periods before they come to an end. Although menopause is a natural biological process, its physical symptoms such as hot flashes can disrupt your sleep and affect emotional health, mentioned Mayo Clinic.

It is recommended that women going through menopause symptoms make regular visits with their gynecologists for preventive health care and medical concerns if any.

brain-20424_640 Hotflashes causes alterations in the brain regions that affects memory Photo: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay