Major Alzheimer’s risk factors harm men more than women

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In a study from the University of Alberta, scientists found that important risk factors in Alzheimer’s disease affect men and women very differently.

They used neuroinformatics to analyze data from 623 older adults over 44 years of their lives, from ages 53 to 97. The data were from the database of the Victoria Longitudinal Study.

The researchers looked at two known Alzheimer’s risk factors—a gene called bridging integrator 1 (BIN1), and vascular health, measured by pulse pressure.

They then compared a known early symptom, episodic memory decline, in men and women. Episodic memory refers to our recollection of everyday events like what we ate for breakfast the previous day.

The team found that for everybody, memory decline was affected negatively by poor vascular health (high pulse pressure).

Second, for those with BIN1 genetic risk, even good pulse pressure couldn’t protect them from memory loss.

And third, for men with BIN1 genetic risk as well as poor vascular health, the slopes were a lot steeper, showing a sharp decline in memory, while for women it did not.

This finding is unexpected because women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease more often than men.

There are several reasons for this, one being women live longer than men, but there are other neurobiological and hormonal changes in midlife that also play a role.

The findings showed that these two risk factors don’t have the same impact on women.

The study speaks to the importance of taking differences between men and women into account when diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s.

According to the team, another complicating factor is that everyone accumulates some risk factors as they age, and there are multiple risk factors that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

So there’s not a single risk factor that is going to tell researchers who is going to get it or not—it’s a combination that unfolds over time.

But if they have the right data, they can track and identify who is most at risk.

If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about decreased proteins linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and 5 steps to protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that herb rosemary could help fight COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s disease, and results showing this stuff in mouth may help prevent Alzheimer’s.

The study was conducted by Mackenzie Heal et al and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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