About the Speaker

Prof. Aimee Spector

University College London, UK

Aimee Spector is Professor of Clinical Psychology of Ageing. She directs the UCL ‘Menopause Mind Lab’; a team of researchers and clinicians dedicated to understand more about the impact of menopause transition on both cognition and mental health. Current research studies focus on the impact of biopsychosocial-cultural factors experienced during this transition, and the development and evaluation of interventions to improve cognition, mood and overall quality of life. She is Director of the International Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) centre at UCL and the ‘UCL Dementia Training Academy. Her research to date primarily focuses on the development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions for dementia, with a particular interest in global health. She has published over 170 peer-reviewed papers, 7 book chapters and 12 books; and is international lead for University College London’s Clinical Psychology doctorate course. 


Management of menopause transition in primary health care


Half of the world’s population will experience ‘menopause transition’, also known as ‘perimenopause’. This describes the time between initial changes in the menstrual cycle and one year after the final menstrual period, often lasting 5-10 years. In addition to marked hormonal fluctuations, this bio-psycho-socio-cultural life transition often coincides with a variety of psychosocial stressors including physical health problems and managing both older children and ageing parents simultaneously. Research suggests that around 75% of women experience symptoms during perimenopause, the most common physical symptoms being hot flushes, sleep disturbances and night sweats. More recently, as people have begun to talk more openly about menopause; the extent and impact of psychological symptoms – most commonly depression, anxiety and ‘brain fog’ – have become increasingly apparent. With the average age of menopause being 51, recent UK data has shown that around one in ten women permanently leave the workforce during perimenopause due to the multiple stresses experienced. This has led to a recent focus on providing effective support and interventions at this challenging time. 

This talk will focus on cognition and mental health in menopause transition. It will overview recent research and developments, present a biopsychosocial perspective and explore ways of supporting women within primary care.