Women More Susceptible to Alzheimer’s

September 14, 2015
Two-thirds of all Americans with Alzheimer’s are women. Since women live longer, it is reasoned that they are more affected by Alzheimer’s simply because of their age. However, recent studies have suggested that women’s brains are more vulnerable to problems with memory and thinking. Women were found to decline mentally at almost twice the rate of men and they have faster acceleration of decline over time.

One recent study discovered that women have more amyloid, a substance that forms sticky plaques found in the fatty membrane surrounding nerve cells. The groups of plaque may form small clumps that block cell-to-cell signaling at synapses. These plaques may activate immune system cells that trigger inflammation and devour cells.

Another study discovered that women undergoing surgery with general anesthesia are likely to develop long-term problems with thinking and memory. Scientists have compared both men’s and women’s brains through PET scanning and discovered women have higher levels of amyloid in their brains than men, regardless of age. This suggests women are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s.

Researchers think there is something else going on in the minds of women either biologically or environmentally to cause such drastic changes. There are many things that can affect women including hormones, lifestyle, child-bearing, diet and exercise. Learning how and why women are getting Alzheimer’s will aid in developing effective treatments.

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