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JAMA Insights
Women's Health
March 12, 2020

The Menopause Transition and Cognition

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Illinois at Chicago
JAMA. Published online March 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1757

Nearly two-thirds of women have subjective cognitive difficulties, commonly referred to as memory problems, during their menopausal transition. Symptoms also include attention or language deficits.1 The basis for these cognitive symptoms is poorly understood; nonetheless, clinicians should have a conceptual framework to address these concerns when providing care for perimenopausal women. To build a clinically applicable approach, this JAMA Insights article will specify the definition of the menopausal transition (as distinct from postmenopause); review subjective cognitive problems in the context of other, concomitant, and possibly related, menopausal transition symptoms; and describe perceived and objectively measured cognitive function during transition and explain how they are related.

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