Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Women with Alzheimer’s Deteriorate Faster than Men

© Halina Yakushevich | Dreamstime.com
More women than men have Alzheimer’s Disease, but is there any difference between the sexes in the progression of the disease? In a paper just published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, researchers from the School of Psychology have revealed that women with Alzheimer’s show worse mental deterioration than men with the disease – even when at the same stage of the condition.

The researchers, led by Professor Keith Laws, discovered that men with Alzheimer’s consistently and significantly performed better than women with the disease across the five cognitive areas they examined. Most remarkably, the verbal skills of women with Alzheimer’s are worse when compared to men with the disease – rather different to the profile of the healthy population where females have the clear advantage in speaking skills!

The findings indicate that there is something about Alzheimer’s that specifically disadvantages women. Possible explanations are for a hormonal influence, possibly due to oestrogen loss in women or perhaps a greater cognitive reserve in males which provide protection against the disease process.

The paper Greater Cognitive Deterioration in Women than Men with Alzheimer’s Disease: a Meta Analysis” is the most read article at the online journal from its publish date until the date of this blog with 1648 views.

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