20 June 2022
Weber et al.  reported on a longitudinal study that was conducted over three waves from 2005 through 2016. For the duration of the study, all 85 subjects were in their perimenopause stage (STRAW+10 stage -2 to stage +1a) and evaluated over 400 bi-annual visits. A comprehensive neuropsychological battery was administered, menopausal symptoms evaluated and 17β-estradiol and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) measured. Multilevel latent profile analysis was used to identify cognitive profiles. All of the recorded visits were sorted into 4 subgroups according to cognitive profiles. After adjusting for STRAW+10 stages and demographic factors, the regression analyses were conducted to determine differences in hormones and symptoms. Most women showed no global impairment, while a significant minority developed weaknesses in verbal learning and memory that were related to both hormonal flux and menopausal symptoms. Compared to women who were cognitively normal, those who had weaknesses in verbal learning and memory were differentiated by less hormonal variability and more sleep disturbance, while women with strength in verbal learning and memory had fewer depressive and vasomotor symptoms (VMS). The investigation showed a significant heterogeneity in cognition during the perimenopause. The authors suggested that cognitive profile analysis should be taken into account to identify at risk populations in order to provide appropriate interventions.