Alzheimer's

why are women more likely to get Alzheimer's?

quick over view

It is a neurodegenerative disease, which means there is progressive brain cell death that happens over a course of time. The total brain size shrinks with Alzheimer's - the tissue has progressively fewer nerve cells and connections. The abnormal protein clumps, inclusions, in the brain tissue are always present with the disease, but there could be another underlying process that is actually causing the Alzheimer's - scientists are not yet sure.

symptoms

1. Worsened ability to take in and remember new information

2. Impairments to reasoning, complex tasking, exercising judgment

3. Impaired eyesight

4. Changes in personality and behavior

5. Impaired speaking, reading and writing

anyone with a brain can be affected by Alzheimer's

women and alzheimer's

Women represent nearly two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, and scientists are just beginning to try to figure out why.The conventional wisdom has held that women are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s because they live longer than men, on average. Three studies were done to see why women are more likely to get Alzheimer's.
  • Researchers found that memory and thinking skills in women with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) declined twice as quickly as they did in men. MCI refers to a slight but measurable decline in cognitive abilities, which include memory and thinking skills. People with MCI can still live independently, but they have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.
  • A study at Oregon Health & Science University suggested that older women have a higher risk of experiencing cognitive dysfunction after undergoing surgery with general anesthesia than older men do. In addition, among people with post-operative cognitive dysfunction, the study found that women declined more rapidly than men.
  • A third study examined levels of amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, in the brains of people across a range of cognitive ability, from normal to Alzheimer’s disease. Women were found to have more amyloid plaque in their brains than men of the same age and same cognitive ability, said Duygu Tosun, of the University of California, San Francisco. This was the case regardless of whether the women carried the APOE e4 gene, which is second only to getting older as the most important risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Is Not Normal Aging — And We Can Cure It | Samuel Cohen | TED Talks

vocab

amyloid plaques- a protein buildup on brain nerves that send signals. The protein buildup on the nerves is what damages speech and sight in Alzheimer’s patients

neurodegenerative- degeneration of nerves in brain. The classification of Alzheimer’s disease.

mild cognitive impairment (MCI)- decline in speech and motor abilities due to disease or illness