Did you know that menopause affects not just the body, but also the brain? Or that 2 out of 3 Alzheimer’s patients in the United States are women? And that these two things might be related?

The next time you have 12 minutes to spare, you may want to give a listen to neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Mosconi on TED Radio Hour as she talks about the role hormones, especially estrogen, play in brain function, and what this means for women’s brains as they enter midlife. Dr. Mosconi discusses how the brain is connected to the reproductive system via the hypothalamus pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis; how the health of the ovaries is linked to the health of the brain; and how estrogen is critical for energy production in the brain.

If you want to learn more, check out her latest book, The XX Brain, published last year. In it, Dr. Mosconi explores the unique characteristics of the female brain, including how hormonal upheaval in midlife impacts mood and cognition; why women are at higher risk of developing mood and cognition disorders like depression and Alzheimer’s; and what you can do to protect your hormone health and your brain.