Study: birth control shot linked to memory loss

by Thaddeus BaklinskiMon Nov 07, 2011 13:50 EST

PHOENIX, Arizona, November 7, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Research at Arizona State University (ASU) has found that the synthetic progestin hormone medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), used in the injectable contraceptive Depo Provera, is linked to memory loss.

Psychology doctoral student Blair Braden and Heather Bimonte-Nelson, associate professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and director of the Bimonte-Nelson Memory and Aging Lab at ASU, led the study.

This study was an extension of earlier research carried out by Braden that implicated MPA used as a component of hormone therapy for menopause to possible detrimental cognitive effects in women.

This earlier study, published in 2010 in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, showed that MPA impaired memory in menopausal-aged rats.

The current study specifically looked at MPA in relation to the Depo Provera birth control injection.

In a press release from ASU, Bimonte-Nelson said she and Braden began asking questions about the effects of the drug because Braden was concerned about friends taking MPA as a contraceptive, and wondered whether the drug would have the same memory-impairing effects when taken by young women.

“This is an important question, because what we are going to have in our future are women who are menopausal that also have a history of taking MPA as birth control when they were younger,” said Bimonte-Nelson.

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