|Hormone Replacement: Is There a Pony in Here Anywhere?
In remembering President Reagan's optimistic outlook, several of his friends recounted the story that, when presented with a barn full of horse manure, Reagan would probably respond with the line, "There's gotta be a pony around here somewhere." Such steadfast optimism is the order of the day as investigators continue to pursue the tantalizing epidemiological evidence that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) might delay or prevent Alzheimer's. Two new
papers add to the growing evidence that HRT is ineffective if begun too late, defined here as after age 65 years.
Within the past five years, HRT has seen a dramatic reversal of fortune. Three independent studies established that HRT failed to slow cognitive decline. Just last year, two papers showed that combination estrogen/progestin (Prempro) could not delay or prevent Alzheimer's if begun at 65 years or later, and one of those even showed an increased risk for dementia among women on Prempro.
One question that arose was whether estrogen alone might be the...