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Why Are Women More Likely To Develop Alzheimer’s Disease?

By January 16, 2023No Comments

The Mayo Clinic explains that “Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that causes the brain to shrink (atrophy) and brain cells to die.” Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is a hypernym used to describe the loss of cognitive functioning to such an extent that it interferes with one’s daily life. The National Institute on Aging asserts that the signs and symptoms of dementia occur as a result of healthy neurons in one’s brain ceasing to function properly, which prohibits them from connecting with other brain cells and subsequently die. It is natural for people to lose neurons as they age, but those with Alzheimer’s disease experience a far greater loss that occurs more rapidly. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.5 million Americans aged 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s in 2022, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that by 2060 the number will rise to nearly 14 million people. Approximately two-thirds of those Alzheimer’s disease are women, which means the disease is almost twice as common in women compared to men.

The current explanation as to why women are at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease is complex and includes a variety of contributing factors. A 2022 study implicated a different hormone, the pituitary gonadotrophin follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), whose levels rapidly increase in the perimenopausal phase and are strongly associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. A 2017 study that focused on participants’ brain health over 28 years found that women are more likely to develop depression, which can lead to an increased risk of dementia. Research indicates that women typically exercise less than men, which is linked to higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease. Harvard Medical School explains that greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is age, and women tend to live longer than men. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, out of 1,000 people, the number of people who develop Alzheimer’s disease each year depends on age: 

  • 4 out of 1,000 people ages 65 to 74 develop Alzheimer’s each year
  • 32 out of 1,000 people ages 75 to 84 develop Alzheimer’s each year
  • 76 out of 1,000 people ages 85 and older develop Alzheimer’s each year

There are 5.7 million more older women living in our society than older men, and the older you are the more likely you are to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Still, scientists continue to unravel why Alzheimer’s disease affects men and women disproportionately.

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Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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