Millions of women in their 40s and 50s won’t be surprised to learn that the memory problems commonly referred to as brain fog are real. Results of a recent study conducted by scientists from the University of Illinois and the University of Rochester Medical Center validate brain fog and offer explanations as to what is happening when women enter menopause.
The study followed 75 women between the ages of 40 and 60 who were approaching or entering into menopause. Testing included patient interviews and cognitive testing. Results demonstrated that almost half of all women who go through menopause have measurable changes in their brains performance. Often the biggest frustration and measured difference is the reduced ability to concentrate when learning and retaining new information.
Women who reported frustrations with their memory were more likely to also report issues with sleeping, depression, and anxiety. This study demonstrates the need for more research in this area and validates a concern women have been reporting for decades.
Memory Tips for Retaining New Information
Anyone faced with the task of learning something can benefit from a few simple tips:
- Repeat the new information back to the listener
- Jot down a quick note to refresh your memory later
- Make a mental picture of the information for easier recall
While more research is needed, women report that memory frustrations are often worse during the beginning of menopause, or peri-menopause, and can lessen with time. Maintaining a brain-healthy lifestyle which includes physical and mental exercises, good nutrition and sleep is critical during menopause and beyond.
Sources Cited: Weber, Miriam. Menopause – Brain Fog Exists. Menopause (Journal of).