episode #355

How Does Menopause Change Your Brain? A Deep Dive with Dr. Lisa Mosconi


World-renowned neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Mosconi takes us on a profound exploration of menopause. Together with Dr. Stephanie, she delves into the intricate physiological and neurological changes that occur during the perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal phases.

In this episode, you will learn about the metabolic, vasomotor, and neurological shifts reshaping women’s brains, unravelling the mysteries behind hot flashes, mood swings, and cognitive alterations. You will also discover the evolutionary significance of menopause and the vital roles grandmothers play in human communities.

From hormone replacement therapy nuances to empowering lifestyle interventions, this conversation offers invaluable insights for women navigating this transformative stage of life. Embark on a journey of understanding and empowerment, and gain a newfound appreciation for the resilience and adaptability of the female brain.

Episode Overview

0:00 Intro/Teaser
0:49 Unveiling the Menopause Brain
The Neurological Impact of Menopause
Neuronal Development and Puberty
Pregnancy Brain Remodeling
47:11 Evolutionary Significance of Menopause
Neurological Changes Post-Menopause
1:00:24 Hormone Replacement Therapy Considerations
Estrogen and Progesterone Considerations
Types of Progestogens and Progestins
Hormone Options for Breast Cancer History
1:16:07 Limitations and Alternatives of Hormone Therapy
Future of Hormones: Designer Estrogens
Lifestyle Modifications and Clinical Trials
Exercise Routines and Preferences
1:29:43 Importance of Greens and Nutrients
Stress Reduction and Hormonal Balance


Lisa Mosconi, PhD, is an associate professor of neuroscience in neurology and radiology at Weill Cornell Medicine and the director of the Women’s Brain Initiative and the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork Presbyterian Hospital. A world-renowned neuroscientist with a PhD in neuroscience and nuclear medicine from the University of Florence in Italy, Mosconi was listed as one of the seventeen most influential living female scientists by The Times and called “the Mona Lisa of Neuroscience” by ELLE International. She is the New York Times bestselling author of The XX Brain and Brain Food. Find out more at lisamosconi.com

Resources mentioned

The Menopause Brain book

Study – Menopause impacts human brain structure, connectivity, energy metabolism, and amyloid-beta deposition

Study – Association of reproductive history with brain MRI biomarkers of dementia risk in midlife

More research

Women’s Brain Initiative

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I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!