Background and Objectives: The human brain presents a functional asymmetry for every cognitive function, and it is possible that sexual hormones could have an impact on it. Visual-spatial attention, one of the most lateralized functions and one that is mainly dependent on the right hemisphere, represents a sentinel for functional cerebral asymmetry (FCA). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) or phytoestrogens could modulate FCA in postmenopausal women. Materials and Methods: We enrolled postmenopausal women who were taking MHT or soy isoflavones or receiving no therapy and asked them to perform the line bisection test at study enrollment and after 18 and 36 months. Results: Ninety women completed the follow-up. At zero time, women who had not been subjected to therapy showed a leftward deviation (F = -3.0), whereas, after 36 months, the test results showed a rightward deviation (F = 4.5; p < 0.01). Women taking MHT showed a leftward deviation at the start (F = -3.0) and a persistent leftward deviation after 36 months (F = -4.0; p = 0.08). Conversely, women taking soy isoflavones started with a leftward deviation (F = -3.0) that became rightward (F = 3.0), with a significant difference shown after 36 months (p < 0.01). Conclusions: Our data suggest that hormonal modulation improves the interplay between the two hemispheres and reduces FCA. We propose, therefore, that the functions of the right hemisphere are mainly affected by aging and that this could be one of the reasons why the right hemisphere is more susceptible to the effects of MHT.

Functional Brain Asymmetry and Menopausal Treatments: Is There a Link?

Riemma G.;Torella M.;La Verde M.;Munno G. M.;Fasulo D. D.;Vagnetti P.;De Franciscis P.
2022

Abstract

Background and Objectives: The human brain presents a functional asymmetry for every cognitive function, and it is possible that sexual hormones could have an impact on it. Visual-spatial attention, one of the most lateralized functions and one that is mainly dependent on the right hemisphere, represents a sentinel for functional cerebral asymmetry (FCA). The aim of this study was to evaluate whether menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) or phytoestrogens could modulate FCA in postmenopausal women. Materials and Methods: We enrolled postmenopausal women who were taking MHT or soy isoflavones or receiving no therapy and asked them to perform the line bisection test at study enrollment and after 18 and 36 months. Results: Ninety women completed the follow-up. At zero time, women who had not been subjected to therapy showed a leftward deviation (F = -3.0), whereas, after 36 months, the test results showed a rightward deviation (F = 4.5; p < 0.01). Women taking MHT showed a leftward deviation at the start (F = -3.0) and a persistent leftward deviation after 36 months (F = -4.0; p = 0.08). Conversely, women taking soy isoflavones started with a leftward deviation (F = -3.0) that became rightward (F = 3.0), with a significant difference shown after 36 months (p < 0.01). Conclusions: Our data suggest that hormonal modulation improves the interplay between the two hemispheres and reduces FCA. We propose, therefore, that the functions of the right hemisphere are mainly affected by aging and that this could be one of the reasons why the right hemisphere is more susceptible to the effects of MHT.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11591/482198
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