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Approved research

Investigating the impact of estrogens and early-life endocrine changes on cognitive decline and dementia.

Principal Investigator: Ms Rebekah Reuben
Approved Research ID: 57934
Approval date: June 15th 2020

Lay summary

Previous research shows that women are much more likely than men to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Estrogens are known to have an important impact on different aspects of women's memory, with higher estrogens having a positive effect and lowered estrogens having a negative effect. Therefore, investigating how early-life changes in estrogens and reproductive system health are related to memory loss and dementia in later life is key to understanding these differences. We aim to use the UK Biobank to study participants who have experienced early-life changes in ovarian function and estrogens and determine the impact this has on cognitive task performance, brain structure and function, and the development of cognitive impairment and dementia. We aim to complete this project within three years, and the results of this research will have value for future scientific research in this area, as well as further the public's knowledge of both protective and risk factors for cognitive impairment and dementia and women's brain health.