Why does Alzheimer's disease affect twice as many women as men?

September 5, 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
Journal of Women’s Health cover image. The journal, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. Credit: ©2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

A group of experts has developed consensus recommendations for future research directions to determine why nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are women. The recommendations are published in a Roundtable discussion in Journal of Women's Health.

An estimated 5.4 million Americans are affected by AD and related , and that number will likely rise to 11-16 million people by the year 2050 if no effective cures or are developed. The main risk factors for AD are age and sex, with affected women outnumbering men 2 to 1. This may be due at least in part to the fact that women tend to live longer.

An interdisciplinary roundtable of experts convened by the Society for Women's Health Research (Washington, DC) led to a set of recommendations to help guide future AD research and make the evaluation of sex and a component of future studies. The consensus recommendations encompass seven themes, including the need to assess the link between sex and AD incidence, raise awareness of among the research community, and to take into account sex-based differences in the experimental design and data analysis of studies on disease risk, early diagnosis, and .

"There are still major gaps in our knowledge of the role of sex and gender in the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease, and these recommendations will provide a useful guide for future research in this area," says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women's Health.

Explore further: Racial and ethnic disparities in awareness of heart disease risk in women

More information: The article is available free on the Journal of Women's Health website at http://www.liebertpub.com/jwh.

Related Stories

Racial and ethnic disparities in awareness of heart disease risk in women

June 6, 2012
Awareness of the risks of heart disease and signs of a heart attack vary greatly among women of different racial and ethnic groups and ages. New data that clearly identify these disparities in heart health awareness are presented ...

Why don't more women take a daily aspirin to prevent heart disease?

April 4, 2012
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, and evidence-based national guidelines promote the use of daily aspirin for women at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. However, less than half of the women ...

How well is depression in women being diagnosed and treated?

August 20, 2012
Major depression affects as many as 16% of reproductive-aged women in the U.S. Yet pregnant women have a higher rate of undiagnosed depression than nonpregnant women, according to a study published in Journal of Women's Health.

Women with Alzheimer's deteriorate faster than men

August 24, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Women with Alzheimer's show worse mental deterioration than men with the disease, even when at the same stage of the condition, according to researchers from the University of Hertfordshire.

Recommended for you

Alzheimer's disease: Neuronal loss very limited

January 17, 2018
Frequently encountered in the elderly, Alzheimer's is considered a neurodegenerative disease, which means that it is accompanied by a significant, progressive loss of neurons and their nerve endings, or synapses. A joint ...

Anxiety: An early indicator of Alzheimer's disease?

January 12, 2018
A new study suggests an association between elevated amyloid beta levels and the worsening of anxiety symptoms. The findings support the hypothesis that neuropsychiatric symptoms could represent the early manifestation of ...

One of the most promising drugs for Alzheimer's disease fails in clinical trials

January 11, 2018
To the roughly 400 clinical trials that have tested some experimental treatment for Alzheimer's disease and come up short, we can now add three more.

Different disease types associated with distinct amyloid-beta prion strains found in Alzheimer's patients

January 9, 2018
An international team of researchers has found different disease type associations with distinct amyloid-beta prion strains in the brains of dead Alzheimer's patients. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National ...

Advances in brain imaging settle debate over spread of key protein in Alzheimer's

January 5, 2018
Recent advances in brain imaging have enabled scientists to show for the first time that a key protein which causes nerve cell death spreads throughout the brain in Alzheimer's disease - and hence that blocking its spread ...

Molecular mechanism behind HIV-associated dementia revealed

January 5, 2018
For the first time, scientists have identified and inhibited a molecular process that can lead to neurodegeneration in patients with HIV, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in Nature Communications.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.