Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy: Is it Possible to Reduce the Odds of Dementia?

March 29, 2024


It’s a frightening word and can be worrisome to imagine living with this condition.   

The good news is that recent research suggests that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) may reduce the risk of women developing dementia. This is exciting information! 

There is a link between brain function and hormonal changes. Many women going through perimenopause or menopause report experiencing:  

  • Brain fog  
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Irritability  

Let’s take a closer look at dementia and how BHRT may help reduce the odds of disease onset. 

What Is Dementia?  

Dementia is a disease in which cognitive function — such as thinking, reasoning, and remembering — deteriorates to the point that it affects daily life and activities. This can be a devastating situation for individuals and their families.  

There are many types of dementia, including: 

Around 55 million people have dementia worldwide, and this number is expected to rise to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050. 

Thankfully, there is something that may help reduce your risk.  

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy May Help Reduce the Odds of Dementia  

According to a 2021 study published in the journal “Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions,” women who take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause have a 58% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. The reduction of risk varied by the type of hormone therapy.  

For example, the use of natural hormones such as estradiol or progesterone, was linked to a greater risk reduction than synthetic hormones. U.S. News also reported that the study was funded by the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and the U.S. National Institute on Aging. It involved data from nearly 400,000 menopausal U.S. women, aged 45 and older, over a five-year period. These are all signs of thorough research. 

HRT, taken in pill form, was associated with a lower risk of combined neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs), while hormone therapies administered through the skin reduced the risk of developing dementia. The study highlights the need for individualized treatments like BHRT — a therapy we wholeheartedly believe in. 

Pharmacists at compounding pharmacies, like Belmar Pharmacy, compound bioidentical hormones with the same molecular structure as natural human hormones. With your doctor’s prescription, compounding pharmacists can create personalized medications based on your particular needs.

BHRT and Dementia: What Role Do Age and Duration Play? 

Age matters when it comes to the effectiveness of BHRT in reducing the risk of dementia. Studies find that overall risk is reduced the most in patients 65 and older.  

And when it comes to duration, research has said that hormone therapy lasting longer than one year offers stronger protection against AD, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia than therapy that lasts less than a year.   

Dementia is a devastating disease that can take away a person’s independence and dignity. While we may not yet have found the cure for dementia, BHRT might be an ideal therapy that can help reduce the risk of developing it. If you’re a woman — especially if you are going through perimenopause or menopause — bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may be worth considering.  

Talk to your doctor to see if this type of therapy is a good option for you or talk to one of our pharmacists for a referral. We’re all in this together! 

Andi Roths