May 2, 2008

Alzheimer's disease risk differs with Gender

A new study of Alzheimer's disease revealed that the risks are different in men and women. Depression and stroke are the important risk factors of dementia. But this study suggests that gender also has something to do with it!

French researchers analyzed data from almost 7,000 people over the age of 65 in three French cities. None of them had dementia, but about 40 percent revealed mild cognitive impairment at the beginning of the study.

Mild cognitive impairment (also known as incipient dementia, or isolated memory impairment) is a diagnosis given to individuals who have cognitive impairments beyond that expected for their age and education, but that do not interfere significantly with their daily activities. It is considered to be the boundary or transitional stage between normal aging and dementia.

A variation in the ApoE gene, a known risk factor for dementia, was also more common among those whose mild cognitive impairment progressed. The results of this study suggests that the risk factors also differed between the sexes.

Men with mild cognitive impairment were more likely to be overweight, diabetic, and to have had a stroke. Men who had had a stroke were almost three times as likely to progress. Women with mild cognitive impairment were more likely to be in poorer general health, disabled, suffering from insomnia and to have a poor support network.


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