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A. Does Estrogen Prevent Alzheimer's Disease?

Narrator: This is Science Today. There's been lots of press about estrogen replacement therapy and it's possible link to preventing Alzheimer's Disease. Kristine Yaffe, a psychiatry professor at the University of California, San Francisco studied this link more closely and found while estrogen does seem to have a positive effect on the brain, she's hesitant to claim estrogen is the main factor.

Yaffe: Women who take estrogen tend to be interested in health prevention. They tend to be younger, they tend to exercise more, they tend to be in a higher socio-economic status. And what's fascinating is that those very characteristics are also related to one's risk of Alzheimer's Disease.

Narrator: Estrogen is associated with an almost thirty percent reduction in risk of Alzheimer's Disease.

Yaffe: So that's very exciting and has tremendous public health importance if it turns out to be true and I add that caveat because again, you have to be careful - how do we know it's the estrogen per se versus those other characteristics?

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.