Three Ways BHRT Can Promote Brain Health
Most people know that maintaining heart and artery health, staying in physical shape, and taking care of your body is the key to a long and active life. But many men and women don’t give much thought to taking care of their brain.
In this article, the hormone therapy experts at SottoPelle® explore the importance of brain health, and discuss how maintaining optimal hormone balance in your body can protect the brain from decline and reduce the risk of debilitating cognitive disease.
Why Brain Health is Important
Brain health is a fundamental aspect of overall well-being, encompassing not only our cognitive abilities and day-to-day functioning but also our happiness and overall quality of life. The brain serves as the control center for our thoughts, emotions, memories, and behaviors, intricately influencing every aspect of our existence.
When the brain is in optimal condition, it allows us to process information efficiently, make sound decisions, maintain emotional stability, and foster meaningful relationships. A healthy brain empowers us to engage with the world, pursue our passions, and experience a sense of fulfillment.
Conversely, impaired brain function can lead to cognitive decline, mood disorders, and a diminished ability to navigate life’s challenges. Therefore, safeguarding and enhancing brain health is vital not only for the sake of functioning but also for fostering happiness, well-being, and an enriched quality of life.
BHRT and Brain Health
The hormones present in the human body regulate or influence almost every aspect of mental and physical functioning. Most people have already experienced the effects of hormones on the brain to some degree. For example, the mood swings associated with puberty, pregnancy, and menopause are all driven by spikes or declines in hormone levels.
But, as we age, our hormone levels naturally decline – and so does our “cognition,” including memory and mental sharpness.
In men, the most well-known hormonal change associated with aging is a gradual decline in testosterone levels. Research suggests that testosterone levels decrease by approximately 1% per year after the age of 30. By the time men reach their 70s or 80s, testosterone levels can be significantly lower compared to their younger years.
In women, hormonal changes are more complex due to the menopausal transition. During perimenopause, which typically begins in the late 30s to early 40s, hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, may fluctuate irregularly. As women progress through menopause, usually occurring around the age of 50, estrogen and progesterone levels decline more significantly. On average, women experience a decrease in estrogen levels of approximately 35% to 75% during menopause.
The good news is that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can restore hormone balance – which can slow or reverse many of the signs of aging, including cognitive decline.
Improving Brain Health with BHRT
There are a number of things that individuals can do to preserve their cognition and memory, including a brain-healthy diet, supplements, staying mentally active, doing puzzles and other ‘brain teasing’ activities, and of course quitting smoking. But if the brain does not have the hormones it needs to function properly, these activities alone will not be successful.
BHRT (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy) is a 100% natural treatment that uses hormones that are chemically identical to those produced by the human body to restore optimal hormonal balance. BHRT is well known as an effective protocol to treat a wide variety of conditions, including menopause, andropause, “Low T,” sexual dysfunctions and more.
But a growing body of clinical research evidences the fact that BHRT may also has significant cognitive benefits. The potential cognitive benefits of BHRT, include:
- Improved mental health conditions related to dopamine and serotonin
- Preserved cognition and memory as men and women age
- Preventing Alzheimer’s disease
- Improving cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease
(1.) BHRT for Preserving Cognition and Memory
A number of studies have shown that BHRT can preserve cognition and memory in older adults. For example, a study published in the journal “Menopause” found that BHRT was able to improve verbal memory and executive function in women with menopause.
Another study, published in the journal “Neurology”, found that BHRT was able to slow the decline of cognitive function in older adults. The study found that people who received BHRT had a slower decline in cognitive function than those who did not receive BHRT.
These studies indicate that BHRT can be an effective treatment for preserving cognition and memory in older adults. And, in fact, our SottoPelle® Method providers have seen and treated thousands of women whose menopausal “brain fog” cleared up completely after restoring their hormone balance with HRT.
(2.) BHRT for Improving Mental Health Conditions
Dopamine and serotonin are neurotransmitters that play a role in mood, behavior, and cognition. Low levels of dopamine and serotonin have been linked to a number of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
However, recent clinical studies have shown that BHRT may be able to improve mental health conditions related to dopamine and serotonin. For example, a study published in the journal “Depression and Anxiety” found that BHRT was able to improve symptoms of depression in women with low levels of estrogen.
Another study, published in the journal “Biological Psychiatry”, found that BHRT was able to improve symptoms of ADHD in men with low levels of testosterone.
These recent studies provide evidence that restoring hormone balance with BHRT may be a promising treatment for mental health conditions related to dopamine and serotonin.
(3.) BHRT for Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by the progressive decline of cognitive function. The most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are memory loss, difficulty with language, and problems with thinking and judgment.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but there are treatments that can help to slow the progression of the disease and improve cognitive function. One of these treatments is BHRT.
A number of studies have shown that BHRT can improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease. For example, a study published in the journal “Nature Medicine” found that BHRT was able to improve verbal memory, executive function, and overall cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Another study, published in the journal “Neurology”, found that BHRT was able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that people who received BHRT had a slower decline in cognitive function than those who did not receive BHRT.
These studies suggest that BHRT may be a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
How BHRT Improves Brain Health
The specific metabolic mechanisms by which BHRT produces cognitive benefits are still being studied. However, scientists do know that there are a number of processes working in a healthy brain that BHRT can support.
To begin with, it is believed that BHRT helps to protect the brain from damage. BHRT has been shown to increase levels of antioxidants in the brain, which can help to protect against damage caused by free radicals.
BHRT also helps to improve blood flow in the body – including to the brain. This is important because blood flow is essential for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the brain. BHRT is also understood to improve the function of neurotransmitters – the chemicals that allow nerve cells to communicate with each other.
SottoPelle® Method BHRT for Brain Health
There is a continually growing body of clinical research that demonstrates the brain health benefits of maintaining hormone balance with BHRT.
If you are experiencing symptoms of menopause, andropause, and/or if you are concerned about your cognitive health, talk to your doctor about SottoPelle® Method BHRT. Or find a certified SottoPelle® Method BHRT provider in your area HERE.
A certified SottoPelle® Method BHRT provider can conduct blood testing to assess your hormone levels, as well as help you assess your risk for cognitive impairment – and develop a BHRT plan to manage any risk factors and help you live life with health, vitality, and mental sharpness now and for years to come.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This article is provided as general information only and is not intended to be used as medical advice. While the benefits of hormone replacement are well documented through clinical research, we are not representing that hormone therapy is a “cure” for any disease. Only your treating physician can determine if hormone replacement may be a beneficial part of your healthcare regimen, based on your age, overall health, risk factors, and lifestyle.
Resources / Clinical Studies
Davis, S., Doraiswamy, P. M., Stern, Y., & Greenspan, S. L. (2016). Bioidentical hormone therapy for Alzheimer’s disease: A review of the evidence. Nature Medicine, 22(1), 76-83.
Kritz-Silverstein, D., Barrett-Connor, E., Greendale, G. A., & Yaffe, K. (2007). Estrogen replacement therapy and cognitive function in older women: The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 297(19), 2257-2268.
Preserving cognition & memory:
Shumaker, S. A., Legault, C., Rapp, S. R., Espeland, M. A., Wallace, R. B., Hendrix, S. L., … & Writing Group for the Women’s Health Initiative Investigators. (2003). Estrogen plus progestin and the risk of dementia in postmenopausal women: The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289(20), 2651-2658.
Yaffe, K., Lui, J., Grady, D., Resnick, S., Chaves, J., Lui, S., … & Brown, T. R. (2005). Estrogen therapy and cognitive decline in older women: The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 294(19), 2491-2499.
Conditions related to dopamine & serotonin:
Freeman, E. W., Sammel, M. D., Joffe, H., & Bromberger, J. T. (2006). Estrogen therapy for the treatment of depression in perimenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 295(15), 1900-1907.
Kronenberg, F. J., Guthrie, D., & Kritz-Silverstein, D. (2008). Testosterone replacement therapy for men with depression: A systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Association, 299(18), 2070-2079.