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Menopausal night sweats linked to cognitive dysfunction – study

The research was conducted on women who also had history with breast cancer. ISTOCK

Menopausal night sweats linked to cognitive dysfunction – study

Study shows how night sweats that cause longer sleep duration may explain why some women suffer attention loss during menopause.

Menopausal night sweats linked to cognitive dysfunction – study

New research has found that women with a history of breast cancer who experience menopausal night sweats are more likely to suffer certain levels of cognitive dysfunction.

The findings were published by the North American Menopausal Society and initially revealed the link between night sweats and longer sleep duration.

This led to a second and finding, however, that the same women who experienced night sweats, in turn, became more vulnerable to prefrontal cortex deficits.

These cerebral deficits included decreased brain attention and “executive function” as their sleep duration increased.

According to John Bark, the lead author of the study from the behavioral neuroscience doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the findings shed light on the possibility that hot flash treatment could reverse the impact on cognitive ability.

“This work presents novel insights into the influence of menopause symptoms on cognitive performance among women with a history of breast cancer and raises the possibility that hot flash treatments could benefit cognition in these women through effects on sleep,” he said.

Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of the North American Menopausal Society was optimistic the findings could pave the way for greater assistance to women navigating the menopause, particularly when it comes to brain function.

“Studies like this are valuable in helping healthcare providers develop effective treatment options for menopausal women complaining of cognitive decline as they focus on modifiable risk factors,” she said.

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