Research Assistant I
Maura De Laney, Marzieh Majd, PhD, Katherine Burdick, PhD
Katherine Burdick PhD
Approximately 48% of women experience depression during the menopausal transition. Deficits ing cognition have been observed in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). This study investigated the associations between sex hormones (estradiol, free and total testosterone, FSH, and LH) and cognitive functioning in postmenopausal women with MDD. Eighty-six postmenopausal women with a history of MDD (mean age: 59.1± 8.0) were recruited. Cognitive functioning was assessed by six domains of MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) and California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT). Analyses controlled for age, menopause type (surgical or natural), and history of childbirth. The mean depression score was 9.3 ± 7.5, reflecting mildly severe depressive symptoms. The mean global cognition score was T score = 48.16 ± 8.43, which is close to the normative mean (i.e., 50 ± 10). No associations were observed between hormones and global cognition (beta = -0.051 to 0.156, p’s>0.05) or any MCCB domains (p’s > .05). Surgical menopause significantly predicted social cognition (beta = -0.271, p = 0.028) and attention and vigilance (beta = -0.327, p = 0.006). We found no associations between sex hormones and cognition in postmenopausal women with MDD. Further investigation is warranted to understand why surgical menopause contributes to cognitive problems.
The menopausal transition is marked by significant sex hormonal changes. During this life stage, many women will experience depressive symptoms, can be accompanied by cognitive decline and functional impairment. This study investigated the association between sex hormones and cognition in postmenopausal women with major depressive disorder. Our study included 86 postmenopausal patients with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. We measured sex hormone levels (estradiol, testosterone, FSH and LH). We did not find any significant associations between sex hormone levels and cognition in this sample. This research has the potential to provide insights into the relationship between sex hormone levels and cognition in postmenopausal women. Future studies should investigate potential associations between sex hormones and cognition in postmenopausal women with more severe depressive symptoms to further explore this link.