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Title: ‘The impact of Menopause and Hormone therapy (HT) use on everyday working memory, Event related potentials (ERPs) and Event related synchronization/desynchronization (ERS/ERD) in clinical and non-clinical settings’
Author: Geary, Christina Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 0913
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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This research was undertaken because whilst menopause is a universal experience for women, there has been insufficient research into the psychological aspects of it. This is surprising, given that other; aspects of the female reproductive cycle such as pregnancy and childbirth have been more thoroughly investigated from a bio-psycho-social perspective. The main objective was to gain a better understanding of the effects of the menopause on everyday working memory and on psychological wellbeing. This thesis presents three community based cross-sectional studies of pre, peri and postmenopausal women (Study 1) and an observational study observing the impact of short term Hormone therapy (HT) use (3mths) on everyday working memory and general health and well-being in a sample of peri and post menopausal women attending an HT-clinic, followed up for 3months-of initial HT use (Study 2). Findings provide detailed information and a better understanding of health and lifestyle. A high level of psychological distress, in the peri-menopause group, suggests problems with psychological well-being. High levels of sedentary behaviour were recorded. The peri-menopause group have consistently lower scores on the RBMT. This study suggests that some aspects of everyday working memory, including verbal and spatial memory, are affected by the menopause transition. Menopausal status (peri-menopause group) was a predictor for global cognitive function in this study. In the clinical study (Study 2) those participants going on to hormone therapy (HT) had some aspects of higher psychological distress and more severe menopause symptoms at baseline. Participants presented with improved psychological wellbeing and symptoms at 3mths, regardless of HT use. The control group showed the greatest improvements over time for visual memory, orientation and date and for new learning (RBMT-3). Over 60% of each group were engaging in 150 minutes of regular moderate PA, above the national average. In the EEG study frequencies for the peri­menopause group were different during recall ERS was not elicited till after 1000 ms, this may indicate that the memory task put higher working memory demands on the peri­menopause group as compared to the pre- and post-menopause groups. Theta ERS, and ERD in the alpha and beta bands were observed during retrieval.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available