13 August, 2012:
Memory complaints are relatively common during midlife. Depending on how the question is asked, more than half of midlife women will endorse problems with memory, and many will indicate that poor memory carries over to their daily function [1-4]. A major concern of patients and their physicians is that forgetfulness, poor concentration, or simply just fuzzy thinking might portend more serious cognitive impairment in the years to come. Among midlife women, a related question is whether their memory symptoms are caused by hormonal fluctuations or hormonal loss associated with the menopausal transition and postmenopause.
In the July issue of Menopause, Weber and her colleagues  report findings on 75 midlife women. They examined the relation between memory complaints and cognitive performance on a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests, and the relation with serum estradiol levels. These women, who were aged 40–60 years, were asked to rate their memory with the 64-item Memory Function Questionnaire (MFQ). Their answers were analyzed according to total score as well as factors related to Frequency of Forgetting, Seriousness of Forgetting, Retrospective Functioning (current memory relative to past memory), and Mnemonics Usage. Self-rated mood was assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory.