Menopause and the Mind: The Complete Guide to Coping with Memory Loss, Foggy Thinking, Verbal Slips, and Other Cognitive Effects of Perimenopause and Menopause

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9780684854564: Menopause and the Mind: The Complete Guide to Coping with Memory Loss, Foggy Thinking, Verbal Slips, and Other Cognitive Effects of Perimenopause and Menopause

"Menopause and the Mind" gives every woman the survival kit she needs to manage the thinking and memory symptoms -- long overlooked by the medical establishment -- that accompany the onset of perimenopause and menopause. As early as their late thirties, many women begin to experience a range of startling changes in the way they speak, remember, drink, and navigate. Sometimes, these changes begin with occasional "slips of the tongue." Other times, a former champion speller realizes that she's isn't so sure how to spell "potato" or "forty," or an organization maven loses track of her appointments. Some women find they can't remember the name of their oldest friend, or how to turn on the computer. Others put the shampoo bottle in the refrigerator instead of the shower caddy, or forget where they are going "en route" to the supermarket they've shopped at for years. These symptoms occur with greater frequency as women enter their forties, fifties, and beyond, but often they are chalked up to stress or age. However, repeated lapses in memory and recurrences of foggy thinking can be terrifying, causing some women to wonder, "What's happening to me? Could this be early Alzheimer's Disease?"

Neuropsychologist Claire Warga provides the first scientific explanation for this common "hormonal misconnection" syndrome. Drawing upon recent brain and clinical research, she shows that forgetfulness, malapropisms, and lost concentration are not manifestations of dementia or senility; instead, they result from the depletion of estrogen in the brain cells of women as they enter perimenopause and menopause. Armed with this knowledge, Warga offers women a breakthrough plan for regaining control andconfidence in their minds.

Warga explains in clear, simple language the cutting-edge science that underlies the "hormonal misconnection" syndrome. Research shows that a decrease in estrogen -- which begins with the onset of perimenopause at about age 35 -- produces detectable changes in the parts of the brain having to do with memory and attention, and can affect multiple neurotransmitter systems. There is also evidence that estrogen loss impacts verbal memory and learning. Yet remarkably, the medical establishment has failed tot use this research to help the millions of perimenopausal and menopausal women who suffer from speech, memory, attention, or cognitive/behavioral symptoms. Most doctors know a good deal about the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause, but little about how it affects the brain. Claire Warga fills this vacuum and provides every woman with the information she needs to take care of herself on her own and in consultation with her doctor.

"Menopause and the Mind" includes a wide range of real-life stories -- such as the menopausal woman who was misdiagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic -- that illustrate how different women have coped with their "hormonal misconnection" symptoms. Warga explains the full range of thinking, speech, short- and long-term memory, behavior, spatial, and time sense symptoms in extensive detail, complete with an array of examples. Most important are a self-screening test and symptom chart that every woman can use to understand the extent of her symptoms and accurately assess her condition, with or without her ob/gyn. Women can also make practical use of Warga's detailed guide to treatment options, which include estrogen therapy,dietary and behavioral changes, and techniques for improving memory.

Women today live longer and are more active than ever before. "Menopause and the Mind" ensures that every woman can live without embarrassment or fear that she is "losing it" as she grows older. With Claire Warga's roadmap of the relationship between estrogen and the brain, women can develop the practical coping tools they need to lead happy and productive lives.

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Review:

Stanley J. Birge, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Washington University School of MedicineThis is an objective and informative treatise on a neglected area of great concern to many peri- and postmenopausal women: the influence of estrogen deprivation on brain function. Warga's insightful message brings these emotional and cognitive changes associated with estrogen loss out of the closet, empowering women to seek readily available strategies to modify these changes.

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