IJCNMH ARCpublishing

Issue: Issue 1 (2014)

Original Article

The relationship between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and memory performance in women: influences of HRT type and APOE E4 allele status

Donna Spooner, Ada Ho Yan Lo, Soo Keat Khoo, Sheila O’Neill, and Nancy A. Pachana
Objective: To investigate the relationship between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and performance on the Wechsler Memory Scale-III (WMS-III) after controlling for confounders, and to determine the impact of different types of HRT and the effect of APOE E4 allele status on memory performance.

Methods: A sample of 223 postmenopausal women aged 44-80 years enrolled in the Longitudinal Assessment of Women (LAW) study participated in this study. Participants were administered tests of verbal memory, auditory memory, visual memory, attention and working memory from the WMS-III. Information on their HRT use, and a range of demographic and health variables were also collected.

Results: After controlling for covariates, HRT use contributed unique variance to performance on the Spatial Span subtest of the WMS-III and estrogen-only users performed more poorly on this task than nonusers. APOE E4 contributed unique variance to the Letter-Number Sequencing Subtest of the WMS-III. No significant HRT use by APOE interaction was found.

Conclusion: In summary, HRT use was observed to have minimum effect overall on the performance of postmenopausal women on the WMS-III. The APOE E4 allele was also demonstrated to have minimal influence on cognitive functioning, and it did not interact significantly with HRT to affect test performance.

Keywords: APOE E4, HRT, memory, cognitive, women’s health

International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health 2014; 1:2

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