Reproductive senescence predicts cognitive decline in aged female monkeys

Jeffrey A Roberts, Kirsten Vk Gilardi, Bill Lasley, Peter R. Rapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


THE present investigation provide evidences from a non-human primate model that naturally occurring menopause predicts a prominent signature of age-related cognitive decline. Young and aged rhesus monkeys were tested on a delayed response (DR) task known to be sensitive to aging, and reproductive status was evaluated according to menstrual cyclicity and urinary hormone profiles. Peri-/postmenopausal monkeys exhibited significant DR impairments relative to either age-matched premenopausal females, or young control subjects. In addition, markers of endocrine decline in the aged animals were selectively correlated with behavioral performance measures that distinguished premenopausal and peri-/postmenopausal monkeys. These results document that menopause is coupled to cognitive decline in the monkey, and they establish a valuable primate model for defining the effects of endocrine aging on brain and behavioral function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2047-2051
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1997


  • Aging
  • Estrogen
  • Learning and memory
  • Menopause
  • Monkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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