Hormone Replacement Therapy to Slow Dementia Onset? (NHS Choices / PLoS One)


This NHS Choices critical appraisal examines press coverage of recent research which investigated the relationship between the genetic variant APOE-e4 (which increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease), hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and telomere length (an indicator of cell ageing).

The small study in question (of 63 post-menopausal women) looked at the telomere-shortening indicator of cell ageing. The researchers found that post-menopausal women who carry APOE-e4 are six times more likely to display telomere shortening, and that women carrying APOE-e4 have less reduction in telomere length when they remain on HRT.

Women who do not carry APOE-e4 have less reduction in telomere length when they stop taking HRT, i.e. HRT then appears to have no “protective effect” on telomeres; implying that the effect of HRT may be conditional and differ in women carrying different genetic variants.

There appears to be some evidence of a relationship between telomere shortening and the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and cognitive decline. More research, looking at larger numbers of people over longer periods of time, is required to investigate this relationship, and any influence which HRT may bear upon it.

Full Text Link (a)


Could HRT stop dementia? London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, February 14th 2013.

This relates to:

Full Text Link (b)


Jacobs, EG. Kroenke, C. [and] Lin, J. [et al] (2013). Accelerated cell aging in female APOE-ε4 carriers: implications for hormone therapy use. PLoS One. February 13th 2013; 8(2): e54713. (Click here to view the abstract).

[A version of this item features in Dementia: the Latest Evidence, Volume 3 Issue 6, February 2013].

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in For Researchers (mostly), In the News, International, NHS Digital (Previously NHS Choices), Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.