The Kensington White Plains is pleased and proud to present our event in our continuing series of virtual discussions about aging, caregiving, and mental health—the connection between dementia and menopause.
Tune in for a detailed and enlightening discussion with two leading experts from Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center, in the field of metacognition and dementia diseases like Alzheimer’s.
If you’re a dedicated caregiver for someone who has dementia issues like Alzheimer’s disease or frontotemporal dementia, this event might be of particular interest to you.
Since two-thirds of all caregivers are women, those caring people looking after some of the most vulnerable people are also at risk for similar health issues.
Women comprise the majority of caregivers worldwide but also account for nearly two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients in America. Scientists still don’t know what all the factors are that have contributed to this statistic.
But you can take several therapeutic and preventative actions to improve your overall health and decrease the odds of developing these health issues.
These are some of the topics that will likely be part of the discussion during the event.
The Kensington White Plains welcomes two prestigious medical experts with decades in the field of neurology and aging to our event.
Susan E. Loeb-Zeitlin, MD, FACOG, has over 29 years of experience as an Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialist in New York. Susan graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (Newark) and is affiliated with NewYork Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Stephanie Cosentino, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Neuropsychology—at the Cognitive Neuroscience Division— and the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease at Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Cosentino has conducted studies on the mental, behavioral, and meta-cognitive profiles of numerous degenerative brain diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s and Frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Additionally, she is devoted to assessing, honing, and creating systems to evaluate subjective cognizance and meta-cognition in older adults.
She hopes these systems will determine the predictive value of cognitive complaints in healthy older adults and recognize the characteristics of faulty meta-cognition in degenerative brain diseases.
Approximately half the world’s population will experience menopause—a natural process in which the production of sex hormones by the ovaries slowly declines and menstrual cycles end.
Menopause has also become the subject of research by medical professionals looking to understand why the majority of Alzheimer’s disease patients are female.
Alzheimer’s is the most frequent type of dementia, a gradual loss of cognitive abilities and memory. Its symptoms can make it difficult to conduct everyday activities and include repeated memory failure, trouble engaging in conversations, and often making bad decisions.
While scientists cannot say what causes Alzheimer’s disease, they have discovered that a combination of biological and lifestyle factors can affect your risk of developing it.
The transition to menopause, also known as perimenopause, usually begins between the ages of 45-55 and can last anywhere from 7-14 years.
During this time, the ovaries steadily produce fewer reproductive hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, that fluctuate during a normal menstrual cycle.
A woman typically reaches menopause around one year after their last period, in which care the ovaries stop producing.
Simultaneously, the brain goes through changes as the ovaries transition into and after menopause.
The majority of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes (a surge in body temperature), night sweats, anxiety, depression, insomnia, brain fog, and memory difficulties, do not stem from the ovaries but rather from the brain.
However, there is still no definitive answer as to whether menopause symptoms can be used to anticipate Alzheimer’s disease in a person’s later years.
Currently, there is no known remedy or technique to stop Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Nevertheless, specialists know that going through menopause may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease(s), diabetes, and a higher risk of brain injuries—all associated with an increased probability of AD.
Therefore, medical researchers suggest that a healthy lifestyle may reduce the possibility of developing AD. The proper lifestyle choices can improve your odds by lowering blood pressure and supporting overall brain health resilience.
These choices include:
- Eating healthy: Healthy diets like the MIND diet, generally include fruits, vegetables, and modest portions of proteins and whole grains.
- Exercising regularly: Walking briskly for around 150 minutes each week can help you maintain a healthy weight. Regular strenuous exercise is correlated with a decreased likelihood of AD and other dementias.
- Getting sufficient sleep: Adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep daily; quality sleep is necessary for good overall health.
- Reduce stress: Take the time to do activities that please you. During menopause or perimenopause, stress levels can rise considerably, which can be detrimental to your health.
- Reduce contact with hazardous toxins, such as air pollution, as it has been linked with a quicker decline in cognitive abilities.
- Keeping yourself socially engaged is key, as isolation has been linked to higher chances of dementia. Seeing family and friends frequently can help to lower the risk.
- Keeping your brain active: Engage in mentally-stimulating tasks during adulthood may help to reduce the risk of dementia.
Finally, make sure to keep up with regular medical checkups, especially if you are going through menopause so that you can plan and manage the symptoms.
We’ve seen the effects of caregiving for someone with dementia—both the rewarding aspects and the negatives. We know what it takes to find the best living possible for the ones we love.
From physiotherapy to our dedicated memory care neighborhoods – Haven and Connections, which cater to all levels of memory loss, The Kensington White Plains hopes we can be a positive and uplifting resource for you and the one you care for.
Reach out to us and let’s talk about how The Kensington can help you and your family. If you want to explore more information about dementia, menopause, or Alzheimer’s disease and the benefits of The Kensington White Plains, visit our website.