Alzheimer's may differ between women, men

  • Blog Post by: Colleen Stoxen
  • November 26, 2012 - 12:24 PM

Alzheimer's disease may look and act differently in men and women, new research suggests.

An emerging field known as gender-specific medicine has shown pronounced differences among the sexes in heart disease and other conditions. These latest findings -- if confirmed by further research -- may have significant implications for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer's.

When people develop Alzheimer's disease, their brains atrophy or shrink. In the study of 109 people with newly diagnosed Alzheimer's, brain scans showed that this atrophy happens earlier in women than men. Women also lost more gray matter in their brains in the year before their diagnosis. However, men seemed to have more problems with their thinking ability when diagnosed with Alzheimer's than their female counterparts did. What's more, men and women lost gray matter in different areas of their brain.

The study was presented at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting, in Chicago.

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