Osteoporosis drug helps prevent memory loss, study finds

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A new study shows that women taking raloxifene to prevent osteoporosis have less risk of memory loss as they age.

Researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center studied 7,705 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis treated with raloxifene, also known as Evista, for a period of three years.

Women who took a higher dose (120 milligrams) of raloxifene displayed a 33% lower risk of developing mild cognitive impairment compared with women given a 60-milligram dose or a placebo, the study showed. There was also a slight drop in the risk of Alzheimer's disease in the higher dosage group.

More than one-third of women and one-fifth of men age 65 and older experience reductions in short-term memory. The study report appears in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.