Gender May Play Role in Disease
Researchers from the Rush Alzheimers Disease Center found that plaques and tangles in the brain, the changes seen in people with Alzheimers disease (AD), are more likely to be expressed as dementia in women than in men.
In the June 2005 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, "Sex Differences in the Clinical Manifestations of Alzheimer Disease Pathology," principal investigator Lisa L. Barnes, PhD, sought to determine whether the relation between levels of AD pathology and clinical symptoms of AD differed in men and women. Alzheimers disease is the leading cause of dementia in older people, she noted. The researchers studied older Catholic nuns, priests, and brothers in the Religious Orders Study, a longitudinal clinicopathologic study of aging and AD. The study involves annual clinical evaluations and brain donation at death. The analyses were conducted on 64 men and 77 women. Women were slightly older at death than men; four cortical regions of the brain were counted, and a global measure of AD was derived.
Mary Ann Schultz | EurekAlert!
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