Estrogen Patch in Newly Postmenopausal Women May Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk Interview with:

Kejal Kantarci, M.D. M.S. Professor of Radiology Division of Neuroradiology

Dr. Kejal Kantarci

Kejal Kantarci, M.D. M.S.
Professor of Radiology
Division of Neuroradiology What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: A rapid decline in estrogen with menopause may be associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease risk in women. This study was conducted in newly postmenopausal women who received 17β-Estradiol via a skin patch or conjugated equine estrogen orally or placebo.

Those who received 17β-Estradiol patch had reduced β-amyloid deposits, the plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, three years after the end of the hormone therapies.

In the study, women with APOE e4 — one form of the most common gene associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease — who received the 17β-Estradiol patch had lower levels of β-amyloid deposits than those who received placebo. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This study showed, for the first time, that the β-amyloid amyloid deposition ─ a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease ─ is reduced in newly postmenopausal women who received 17β-Estradiol patch form of hormone therapy. Women with the APOE e4 allele, who have a greater genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, particularly benefited from this therapy. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our results need to be confirmed in the larger group of women. We are seeking funding to perform amyloid PET imaging at eight KEEPS study sites around the U.S. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: If confirmed in a larger group of KEEPS participants, this finding has the potential to change the concepts for preventive interventions that drive the Alzheimer’s disease field today, and may have a significant impact on women making the decision to use hormone therapy in the early postmenopausal years. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Early Postmenopausal Transdermal 17β-Estradiol Therapy and Amyloid-β Deposition, DOI: 10.3233/JAD-160258,

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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1 Comment
  • JR
    Posted at 23:26h, 14 July Reply

    It has been known for some time that estrogen modulates beta amyloid; this is not new. The issue is that amyloid (plaques) have not been proven to cause Alzheimer’s disease or any other dementing condition. Like cholesterol and heart attacks, it may only be a marker of the disease process, not an actual cause. Moreover, at least with oral estrogen, there is an increased risk of stroke and brain atrophy, even though the hormone has a favorable effect on lipids and blood flow.

    This new data is from a tiny sample of people in a larger clinical trial and is essentially meaningless as far as clinical practice guidelines are concerned. It is time to move past the fact that “HRT” of any kind is not an elixir of youth.

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