Brain fog and depression in perimenopausal women


Many women experience confusion, frustration and depression over the brain fog they feel during menopause. And whether or not it’s comforting, women should know their memory problems are real, not imagined, and not indicative of a more significant neurological disorder.

Miriam Weber, PhD, the neuropsychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, explains:

“The most important thing to realize is that there really are some cognitive changes that occur during this phase in a woman’s life. If a woman approaching menopause feels she is having memory problems, no one should brush it off or attribute it to a jam-packed schedule. She can find comfort in knowing that there are new research findings that support her experience. She can view her experience as normal.”

With this knowledge, perhaps a woman’s depression and stress can be lessened.

Interview-based study

The study included 75 perimenopausal women. The women took cognitive tests that examined their ability to learn and retain information, to manipulate new information, and sustain attention. They were interviewed about depression, anxiety, and other physiological symptoms of menopause. Their hormone levels were also tested.

These women had difficulty with working memory, or the ability to manipulate new information in their heads. They also found a lessened ability to keep attention during a task, to stay sharp on a long drive, to complete a task in spite of boredom or to get through a difficult book. Difficulty with these cognitive processes are beyond what most people regard as “memory”.

“There really is something going on in the brain of a woman at this stage in her life,” Mark Mapstone, PhD, associate professor of neurology, explained.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Menopause


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