perimenopausal brain

The Perimenopausal Brain: 2 Specialists You Need to Meet

Having a perimenopausal brain can lead to a lot of questions and concerns. And because most of us are totally unprepared when our perimenopausal symptoms start to appear, it can feel like we’re going crazy. Let me address that first: you are not crazy. And you are not alone. Problems with memory, concentration, and focus are common symptoms in perimenopause due to fluctuating hormones. That said, these brain-related changes can still be very frustrating and raise a lot of questions. Big, and sometimes scary questions:

  • Does perimenopause impact your cognitive function?
  • Are these changes permanent?
  • Is there a link between hot flashes and brain fog?
  • Does menopause hormone therapy help with brain fog?
  • Does menopause hormone therapy prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s? Does reaching menopause before the age of 40 change the answer to this question?
  • Is it true that women are twice as likely as men to get Alzheimer’s?
  • Are there lifestyle factors that can help with brain fog?
  • Are there lifestyle factors that can prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s?

The majority of us can’t answers these questions. So we’re struggling with forgetfulness, memory problems, and poor concentration, and missing out on opportunities to alleviate these common perimenopausal symptoms. We’re also taking an unknown gamble with our brains when we don’t understand and implement the lifestyle changes proven to support cognitive health as we age.

For anyone with a perimenopausal brain, there are 2 specialists you need to meet:

Dr. Pauline Maki

The following information is a excerpt from Dr. Maki’s full bio at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Dr. Maki is best known for her contributions to the field of menopause and cognition. She is Past President of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and current Treasurer of the International Menopause Society, and a frequent national and international speaker on this topic. Her research in menopause focuses on how hormonal changes and menopause symptoms contribute to cognition, mood, and brain function in midlife women. She also leads clinical trials of hormonal and non-hormonal interventions for hot flashes, with a goal of understanding their effects on cognition. Her research findings have been incorporated in clinical practice guidelines and position statements by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), the International Menopause Society (IMS), and the National Network on Depression Centers

This video is an interview from Women Living Better with Dr. Maki. This 45 minute conversation delves into what the research has confirmed about perimenopausal brains, and what is still unknown. The discussion also covers hormone replacement therapy and when it is and isn’t indicated. Dr. Maki also discusses what all of us need to be doing to to achieve optimal brain health. At the top of the list? Exercise. So grab your headphones and walking shoes, and listen to this while you get some movement into your day!

And if you don’t already know about Women Living Better, check them out. Their work received The Menopause Society’s Media Award in 2021 for expanding the world’s knowledge and understanding of menopause, particularly the early stages of perimenopause.

Dr. Lisa Mosconi

The following information is an excerpt from Dr. Mosconi’s full bio on her website.

Dr. Lisa Mosconi, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Neuroscience in Neurology and Radiology at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), and the Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at WCM/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The program includes the Women’s Brain Initiative, the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, and the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinical Trials Unit. A world-renowned neuroscientist, she is ranked amongst the top 1% of scientists of the past 20 years by official metrics, and was listed as one of the 17 most influential living female scientists by The Times. Dr. Mosconi holds a PhD degree in Neuroscience and Nuclear Medicine from the University of Florence, Italy. She was called “the Mona Lisa of Neuroscience” by ELLE International.

She is the author of the New York Times bestselling book THE XX BRAIN (2020) and of the international bestseller BRAIN FOOD (2018), which have been translated into more than 15 languages. Dr. Mosconi’s TED talk “How menopause affects the brain” has been viewed over 2 million times in the first three months since its release.

In this engaging and sometimes startling TED Talk, Dr. Mosconi explains how menopause affects the brain. As the foremost expert on female brains, she reassures us that 1) we are not crazy and 2) despite how we feel, we are not underperforming. Dr. Mosconi also discusses how gender impacts our risk for developing dementia. And perhaps most importantly the things we need to be doing in terms of prevention. While some of this information can be alarming, it is a gift that each of us can leverage to build our best health.

About Us

Women’s health has been neglected for far too long, especially menopause and it’s related stages. If we’re going to see the change we need, it’s up to each of us to get informed and demand better. That’s a big ask. So we’re committed to helping you learn what you need to by:

  • providing science-informed resources in a format that’s easy to consume,
  • building a community of women who get what you’re going through, and
  • sharing a laugh.

And if you need an opportunity to cry, whether it’s out of frustration, joy, pain, or relief, we’re hear for that too.

Perimenopause coincides with the height of all the messiness life has to offer. We get it. Sifting through the internet to find reliable resources and sorting through the conflicting information is time you don’t have. So hang out with us, here on our website, our podcast, or Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok. We’re committed to providing you with the resources we wish we’d had when we started perimenopause.

We’d be honored to be part of your journey.


The intent of this information is to provide the reader with knowledge to support more efficient and effective communication with their medical providers. This information is not intended as medical advice.