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Posts Tagged ‘menopausal brain fog’

Auguste Deter. Alois Alzheimer's patient in No...

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WHM Syndrome, do you know what those letters mean and how they describe  conditions that are often experienced by women in their perimenopausal, menopausal and mid life stages? If  not, so did I,  and perhaps so many women out there are ignorant of this condition that triggers what others call as MBF or “menopausal brain fog.”

In her book, “Menopause and the Mind: The Complete Guide to Coping with Memory Loss, Foggy Thinking, Verbal Confusion, and Other Cognitive Effects of Perimenopause and Menopause,” Dr. Claire Warga, a research neuropsychologist and a licensed New York psychologist coined the term WHM syndrome, which means Warga’s Hormonal Misconnection Syndrome. This is a first ever scientific explanation for a set of  40 cognitive symptoms that affect different aspect of women’s mind who are in their perimenopause and menopausal stage: thinking, speech, attention, memory, spatial skills, the 3 R’s (reading, writing and ‘rithmetic).

Yep! A misconnection occurs in our brain during these stages of our womanhood due to hormonal imbalance, particularly changes with estrogen.

Perked your attention, did I? Perhaps you’ve experienced these behavioral changes and thought something was going wrong inside your brain and might be a precursor to a dreaded disease like Alzheimer or a brain tumor.

Relax a little, because if you have no other health condition that will trigger these behavioral changes, these symptoms are as common as hot flashes and can be reversed or alleviated according to Dr. Claire’s studies.

These are the conditions that comprise WHM syndrome which affects our cognition and memory:

  • Changes in thinking, losing train of thought and trouble prioritizing
  • Speech changes, difficulty in remembering names of people and places that you have known for a long time and relying on “filler words” like “you know what I mean” in trying to express herself
  • Attention changes such as being more distracted or listening but not really hearing
  • Memory changes both  short tem and long term such as taking longer to retrieve memories,  doing so with less accuracy and forgetting something you just did.
  • Behavioral changes such as briefly forgetting how to do something you once knew
  • Altered sense of time such as forgetting appointments and events of personal importance
  • Spatial skill changes-briefly forgetting how to get to familiar places or landmarks

There are many women who have experienced the symptoms of WHM syndrome and have suffered silently with these unexplained behavioral changes often relating it to signs of aging, but, hey this affects women in their mid 30s too and that is not yet old.

Fortunately for me, I stumbled upon the explanation of this condition and it was such a relief that the memory blanks I experienced and  the loss of focus have a scientific explanation.  WHM or Warga’s Hormonal Misconnection Syndrome is not a dreaded disease, women are silently fearful of,  it is just a hormonal imbalance caused by fluctuations in our body’s estrogen production.

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