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The Menopause Brain with Dr. Lisa Mosconi

Haley Paskalides  |  April 10, 2024

How menopause really affects your brain and your money. Dr. Lisa Mosconi weighs in.

Money touches everything in our lives — including our health. And women know there’s one topic that has long been ignored in American society, to the detriment of millions of women: menopause. 

It’s a big deal. By 2030, 1 billion women worldwide will have entered (or will be about to enter) menopause and on average, medical costs for menopausal women ages 45 to 54 are 47% higher than they are for women of the same age who don’t exhibit menopause symptoms. 

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Thankfully, the world — and the medical community — is waking up to the realization that menopause needs to be studied, and women need all of the information they can get.

One of the incredible doctors leading the charge to ensure we get the attention and treatment we deserve is Dr. Lisa Mosconi, an Associate Professor of Neuroscience in Neurology and Radiology and Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Weill Cornell Medicine. In her new book: “The Menopause Brain,” she argues that while by definition, menopause signals the end of our reproductive life, the transition impacts our brains just as much as it impacts our ovaries.

When Dr. Mosconi started studying the effects of menopause on the brain in 2017, what she found was that menopause was a biological clue for the brain to get “​​leaner and meaner” because we’re essentially letting go of the neurons we need when our brains were regulating our menstrual cycles. “So, if you don’t need them, you’re better off just getting rid of them, which leads to the rewiring and the changes in energy levels and in gray matter volume, and the symptoms of menopause that may come from this rewiring and remodeling,” Mosconi says.

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While there are many symptoms of menopause women would rather not go through (hot flashes, anxiety, dry skin, etc.) Dr. Mosconi has found that, in general, menopause is associated with greater life contentment. “I think it’s encouraging that on average, women can experience renewed energy, better mental health, and more happiness after going through menopause,” Mosconi says. “And also, greater empathy and emotional mastery, which means the things that used to upset you in the past do not hold the same charge after menopause.”

In Mailbag, HerMoney Editor-in-Chief Kathryn Tuggle is back to answer some down-to-the-wire tax time questions: A listener asks how she should prioritize paying the IRS vs. a credit card bill, and we hear from someone who’s having trouble getting a W2 for her daughter’s summer job. In our news of the week, why we still feel so bad about the economy and how stars mentioning a brand can move the needle on Wall Street. 


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All advisory services offered through Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA), a federally registered investment advisor. Results are not guaranteed. AM1969416

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