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From the article:

Asthana noted differences between the current study and those that found no memory-enhancing effect. Asthana’s study used estradiol, a type of estrogen that has been shown to have an effect on the brain. Other studies used a compound that contains low doses of estradiol along with other forms of estrogen that have not been proven to have an effect on the brain, he said. Also, the largest study finding no effect included only women who had hysterectomies. “We don’t know enough yet about how a hysterectomy versus no hysterectomy can affect the brain’s response to estrogen,” he said.

In the current study, the women were given a variety of tests to measure their attention skills, recent verbal memory, recent visual memory and semantic memory, or the ability to name common items from pictures.

The women receiving estrogen improved their performance on an attention test by 20 percent more than the women receiving a placebo. Those receiving estrogen also improved on some of the tests of recent verbal and visual memory by 35 and 30 percent more than those receiving a placebo. On the test of semantic memory, those taking estrogen performed 10 percent better than those taking a placebo.

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