Early menopause can result in earlier onset dementia

Jan 27, 2010

Women experiencing an early onset of menopause could develop dementia at a younger age. Research by Tonnie Coppus of Erasmus MC has indicated this. She studied women with Down Syndrome, who are known to have an early onset of menopause. The results of her research can be translated to apply to the general population. Her results will be published in the Journal of Alzheimer Disease today.

Women with have an earlier onset of compared to women in the general population, 44 years of age and 52 years of age, respectively. Coppus' findings show a strong relationship between the age of menopause onset and the age at which is diagnosed. Coppus: "Women with Down Syndrome with an early onset of menopause also appear to suffer from dementia at an early age. In addition, my study shows that these women also die younger."

Alzheimer's disease is the major cause of illness and death among people with Down Syndrome. The Epidemiology department of Erasmus MC has been studying more than 500 people with Down Syndrome, above the age of 45, since 2000. In particular, the factors affecting the onset of dementia and death are studied. The health development found within this group is in fact an accelerated version of the developments found in the general population. The research results can therefore be translated to similar results for the general population.

A first step in the development of Alzheimer is the build up of so-called amyloid in the . The deposition of this amyloid occurs under influence of a certain gene, higher levels of which are found in people with Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome is a in which there are three copies of chromosome 21. This chromosome has various that play a role in neurological diseases. The most important of these is the gene that is responsible for the production of the . Coppus: "Studying the various factors that influence the development of Alzheimer's disease among people with Down Syndrome also improves our understanding of the role of amyloid in the development of Alzheimer's disease within the general population."

As it appears, not only can a relationship with the age of onset of dementia be determined but also a relationship between early onset of menopause and dying young. Coppus: "As dementia itself also leads to a reduced life expectancy, I made calculations in which I corrected the results of the effect of dementia on death. Despite this, the relationship between early menopause onset and dying young remains. The research results provide substantial information on the relationship between menopause and dementia and the relationship between menopause and death."

Explore further: West Africa's Ebola outbreak prompts changes in I.Coast cuisine

More information: www.j-alz.com

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Dangers of early menopause highlighted

Sep 11, 2007

University of Adelaide research into the problems caused by the early onset of menopause will be among the highlights of the 11th Australasian Menopause Society (AMS) Congress, being held in Adelaide this weekend.

Recommended for you

Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

22 hours ago

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

22 hours ago

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

Apr 19, 2014

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...