Blanking on someone’s name. Forgetting why you entered a room. Struggling to concentrate on a task. Women in their 40s and early 50s often notice declines in their memory, focus and ability to learn new things—symptoms sometimes called “brain fog.”

Doctors have good news and bad news. There’s a good chance these problems are caused by normal midlife hormonal changes during perimenopause, and often get better after you’ve had your last period. Medications along with exercise and a healthy diet may help. The bad news: For some women, these problems persist.

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