Wu M1, Li M2, Yuan J2, Liang S2, Chen Z2, Ye M3, Ryan PM4, Clark C5, Tan SC6, Rahmani J7, Varkaneh HK7, Bhagavathula AS8.
Pharmacol Res. 2020 Feb 11:104693. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104693. [Epub ahead of print]
Hormone therapy continues to be a favourable option in the management of menopausal symptomatology, but the associated risk-benefit ratios with respect to neurodegenerative diseases remain controversial.
The study aim was to determine the relation between menopausal hormone therapy and Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease in human subjects.
A literature search was performed in PubMed/Medline, Cochrane collaboration, and Scopus databases from onset of the database to September 2019. Random-effects model was used to estimate pooled odd ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Subgroup analysis was performed based on the type and formulation of hormone. In addition, the time-response effect of this relationship was also assessed based on duration of hormone therapy.
Associations between hormone therapy and Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease in menopausal women were reported in 28 studies. Pooled results with random effect model showed a significant association between hormone therapy and Alzheimer’s disease (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.03 -1.14, I2: 69%). This relationship was more pronounced in patients receiving the combined estrogen-progestogen formulation. Moreover, a significant non-linear time-response association between hormone therapy and Alzheimer’s disease was also identified (Coef1 = 0.0477, p1<0.001; Coef2 = -0.0932, p2<0.001). Similarly, pooled analysis revealed a significant association between hormone therapy and all-cause dementia (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.02 -1.31, I2: 19%). Interestingly, no comparable relationship was uncovered between hormone therapy as a whole and Parkinson’s disease (OR 1.14, 95% CI 0.95-1.38, I2: 65%); however, sub-group analysis revealed a significant relationship between the disease and progestogen (OR 3.41, 95% CI 1.23 – 9.46) or combined estrogen-progestogen formulation use (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.34 – 1.65). Indeed, this association was also found to be driven by duration of exposure (Coef1 = 0.0626, p1 = 0.04).
This study reveals a significant direct relationship between the use of certain hormonal therapies and Alzheimer’s disease, all-cause dementia, and Parkinson’s disease in menopausal women. However, the association appears to shift in direct after five years in the context of Alzheimer’s disease, adding further weight to the critical window or timing hypothesis of neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.