As per a recent study, menopausal women may have higher levels of a brain biomarker or white matter hyperintensities than premenopausal women. These brain biomarkers have been linked to an increased risk of stroke, Alzheimer's disease & cognitive decline.
"White matter hyperintensities increase as the brain ages, and while having them does not mean that a person will develop dementia or have a stroke, larger amounts may increase a person's risk," said study author Monique M. B. Breteler, MD, PhD, of the German Center of Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), in Bonn, Germany, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study involved 3,410 people with an average age of 54. Of those, 58 per cent were women, and of the women, 59 per cent were postmenopausal. Also, 35 per cent of all participants had high blood pressure and of those, half had uncontrolled high blood pressure.
All participants had MRI brain scans. Researchers looked at the scans and calculated the number of white matter hyperintensities for each participant. The average total volume for these brain biomarkers was 0.5 millilitres (ml). The average total brain volume was 1,180 ml for men and 1,053 ml for women. The average total white matter volume, the area of the brain where white matter hyperintensities can be found, was 490 ml for men and 430 ml for women.