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Is Dementia More Common In Females

The Price Of Caring For A Loved One

Why Alzheimer’s Dementia Is More Common in Women #Shorts

Currently, 16 million people in the U.S. provide care for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, and over 60 percent of caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s are women.

“Most caregivers work outside the home and care for other loved ones, notes Jill Lesser, president of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s. And the vast majority of dementia care happens outside the health care system. Most dementia care is paid for out of pocket, which strains caregivers finances.

Moreover, family caregivers often pay a price in terms of their own health. After all, the caregiver must navigate the loved one’s confusion, disorientation and mood swings, and as the dementia progresses, the patient’s difficulties expressing him- or herself effectively. In addition, family caregivers are particularly susceptible to anxiety and depression and have higher risks of heart disease, as the GCBH report notes. Some research suggests that caregivers of dementia patients may face a higher risk of cognitive decline themselves because of that excess stress.

That’s why, as a caregiver, it’s important to try to get as much support as you can, Yaffe says. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support.

Study Results: Are Males Or Females More Prone To Alzheimer’s

Results suggested that middle aged females had 30 percent more Alzheimers-related brain plaque compared to middle aged males. Women also had 22 percent less energy in the brain, but 11 percent more brain shrinkage. Researchers attributed the differences to waning estrogen and progesterone levels associated with menopause.

This is a small study, but its results echo other studies, says Bernard Kaminetsky, MD, medical director, MDVIP.

At the 2019 Alzheimers Association International Conference in Los Angeles, researchers from Vanderbilt University, University of California, San Diego and University of Miami presented related studies.

Vanderbilts study looked at the differences in how tau, a protein that forms tangles that destroy nerve cells, spreads in the brain. They found women with mild impairment had wider spread networks of tau compared to men, suggesting more areas of the brain were affected.

The UCSD study questioned why women tend to have better verbal memory skills than men, even while showing signs of early to moderate Alzheimers disease. After scanning more than 1,000 brains of elderly adults, they found that womens brains were more efficient at using sugar — its main energy source compared to men. Researchers think this efficiency helps women compensate for, as well as mask, the toll dementia takes on their brains. The results also suggest that women are less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimers disease based on verbal skills tests.

Differences Between Women And Men In The Prevalence And Risk Of Alzheimers And Other Dementias

More women than men have Alzheimers or other dementias. Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimers are women., Of the 5.8 million people age 65 and older with Alzheimers in the United States, 3.6 million are women and 2.2 million are men., Based on estimates from ADAMS, among people age 71 and older, 16% of women have Alzheimers or other dementias compared with 11% of men.

The prevailing reason that has been stated for the higher prevalence of Alzheimers and other dementias in women is that women live longer than men on average, and older age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimers.- But when it comes to differences in the actual risk of developing Alzheimers or other dementias for men and women of the same age, findings have been mixed. Most studies of incidence in the United States have found no significant difference between men and women in the proportion who develop Alzheimers or other dementias at any given age., , However, some European studies have reported a higher incidence among women at older ages,, and one study from the United Kingdom reported higher incidence for men. Differences in the risk of dementia between men and women may therefore depend on age and/or geographic region.,

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Why Is Dementia More Common In Females

Worldwide, women with dementia outnumber men 2 to 1. Brain scans tell us that the rate at which brain cells are dying in the brain is faster in women than in men. Women are more likely to live longer than men. However, although risk increases with age, dementia is caused by diseases of the brain not age alone.

Other Forms Of Dementia Common In Younger People

Dementia Symptoms and Behaviors Common in Seniors

Younger people are more susceptible to other, more unusual forms of dementia . Some examples are fronto-temporal dementia , Korsakoffs syndrome and HIV-related dementia.

Each form of dementia has characteristic symptoms, as well as more general symptoms of dementia. For example, fronto-temporal dementia affects the frontal lobe and/or the temporal parts of the brain, which deal with behaviour, emotional responses and language skills. If this part of the brain is damaged, a person may start to display inappropriate, disinhibited behaviour, such as swearing loudly and often. People with Lewy body dementia may experience visual hallucinations, irregular sleep patterns and falls. If care staff know this sort of information, they are far better equipped to respond to the particular needs of the individuals they are working with.

Dementia can be more severe in a younger person and is often associated with physical symptoms and rapid progression. This is particularly the case with rare forms of dementia such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and HIV-related dementia.

To find out more about these and other forms of dementia go to the Alzheimers Society website and see its factsheet on Younger people with dementia.

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What Can Women Do To Reduce Their Risk For Dementia

While many women accept that cognitive decline is a normal part of aging, as Lock notes, it doesn’t have to be. We want more women to prioritize their own health, including their brain health, she says.

The good news: A mounting body of research suggests that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of dementia by more than 33 percent.

Here are the key components of a brain-protective lifestyle:

Exercise regularly. Cardio or aerobic exercise, in particular, increases blood flow, reduces inflammation and stimulates the release of growth factors, all of which are protective of brain health, Yaffe notes.

Stimulate your brain. Engage in cognitive activities regularly, such as puzzles, word games and challenging reading material. Using your mental muscles supports cognitive reserve and creates a buffer against dementia, Yaffe says.

Stay socially connected. Besides helping to prevent isolation and loneliness, staying connected to people you care about provides a sense of purpose and support for when you need it.

Relieve your stress. Life in the modern world is stressful enough, and most women must juggle careers and family obligations. That’s a problem for brain health because, as the GCBH report notes, ongoing stress and anxiety can depress the immune system, cause depression and increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. So make an effort to regularly decompress from stress with exercise, meditation, yoga, deep breathing or whatever technique works for you.

Dementia From Multiple Causes

Mixed dementia refers to cognitive impairment due to multiple CNS pathologies. Most commonly, these pathologies are a combination of AD pathologies-amyloid deposits and tau tanglesand vascular compromise, such as that occurring with multiple microbleeds or infarcts. Autopsy reports suggest that vascular pathology occurs in up to 28% of AD cases.,, Dementia related to Parkinson disease is frequently accompanied by vascular-related lesions. A recent report from two longitudinal population-based studies, the Nun Study and HAAS , found that neuropathic abnormalities such as Lewy bodies and AD changes were more common among white women in the Nun Study, whereas microinfarcts were more common in Japanese American HAAS men. As expected, cognitive decline was greatest among individuals with multiple types of neuropathologic changes, whether Lewy bodies, AD pathology, or vascular disease. Cerebrospinal fluid markers of AD found in individuals diagnosed with LBD were associated with a more rapid cognitive decline among those participating in a large European multicenter study of LBD. It is generally accepted that vascular dementias and mixed dementias occur more frequently in males, with rates of 31% versus 25% in females.,

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Facts About Women And Dementia

  • More women are affected by dementia than men. Worldwide, women with dementia outnumber men 2 to 1.
  • Brain scans tell us that the rate at which brain cells are dying in the brain is faster in women than in men.
  • Women are more likely to live longer than men. However, although risk increases with age, dementia is caused by diseases of the brain not age alone.

Risk Factors And Prevention

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Although age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, it is not an inevitable consequence of ageing. Further, dementia does not exclusively affect older people young onset dementia accounts for up to 9% of cases. Studies show that people can reduce their risk of dementia by getting regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol, controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Additional risk factors include depression, low educational attainment, social isolation, and cognitive inactivity.

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  • Q What Should Women Be Doing To Take Care Of Themselves And Prevent The Onset Of Alzheimers

    Answer:Women can focus on prevention whats good for the heart is good for the brain. We know that adequate exercise, good nutrition and sleep are critical for avoiding diabetes and heart disease. We also know that its critical not to smoke and to avoid substance abuse, particularly alcohol. So these things can promote brain fitness. We also know that building up a cognitive reserve for women, especially with active lifetime learning there are certain types of learning that are better than others can build up a reserve so that the disease is less devastating once it is established.

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    How Common Is Dementia In The Elderly

    As many as 7% of adults aged 60 and older suffer from dementia. Along with problems with memory, language, and decision-making abilities, dementia can cause other symptoms. These include changes in mood, such as increased irritability, depression, and anxiety. They also include changes in personality and behavior.

    Environmental Factors As A Risk Factor

    Why Alzheimerâs is More Common in Women than Men

    The physical risk factors of VaD are only one aspect of the cause. VaD can arise due to many factors but one class of factors that are often overlooked are the environmental factors which often can dictate some of the other more tangible, direct factors . Some environmental risk factors include air quality elements, toxic heavy metals, trace elements, known occupational hazards, electrical/magnetic fields, and a few others . These different environmental factors have been shown to have strong effects in propagating dementia .

    Table 4. Shows the various types of environmental factors and their uses.

    The factors listed in the table are the highest environmental factors that have a link to VaD, and they all are produced in different ways, some of which cannot be simply avoided. These factors can trickle down, and most likely do not directly affect the development of VaD but can exacerbate other existing risk factors. For example, the use of herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers are commonly used in farming practices all over the world, many of these are known endocrine disruptors that increased the risk of developing dementia .

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    Research Shines Light On Why Women More Likely To Develop Alzheimers

    Protein tau may spread more rapidly in female brains than males, adding to range of factors

    The reason women appear to be at greater risk of developing Alzheimers disease than men might be due to a number of genetic, anatomical and even social influences, researchers have suggested.

    Recent figures show about 65% of those with living with dementia in the UK are women, with a similar statistic seen in the US for Alzheimers disease, while dementia is the leading cause of death for women in England. Alzheimers disease is only one of the types of dementia, but the most common form.

    While one explanation is that dementia risk increases with age, and women have longer life expectancies than men, new research suggests there might be more to the matter, including that protein tangles found within neurons and linked to Alzheimers disease might spread differently in womens brains than mens.

    The study, presented at the Alzheimers Association International Conference in Los Angeles by researchers from Vanderbilt University and which has not yet been peer-reviewed, used scans from a method called positron emission tomography. That allowed them to look at the way clumps of a protein called tau were spread in the brains of 123 men and 178 women without cognitive problems, as well as 101 men and 60 women with mild cognitive problems although not yet diagnosed with Alzheimers disease. Cognitively normal older people often have small amounts of tau in certain areas of their brain.

    An Overview Of Alzheimer’s And Dementia In Women

    • Out of over 5.5 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, almost two-thirds are women. Also, 60 percent of women caregivers have Alzheimer’s disease.

    • According to some research, women who have dementia see their mental abilities deteriorate more considerably than men at a similar stage of the disease.

    • At 65 years of age, women have a 1 in 6 chance risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared to a 1 in 11 chance for men.

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    Dementia Is More Common Among Women

    For years, it was believed that rates of dementia and, more specifically Alzheimers, were due to the fact that women live longer than men. Although women can expect a longer lifespan on average, this gap is beginning to close mens health appears to be improving, whereas womens health is not. As researchers began focusing on additional factors, it became evident that there may be contributing factors that are beyond longevity. Lets put it this way by the time women are 65, they experience a 1 in 6 chance of developing Alzheimers, in comparison to a 1 in 11 chance for men. While focusing on the approximate 5 million Americans who are living with Alzheimers, 3.2 million are women so, its easy to say that rates of dementia are disproportionate between males and females. Why is this occurring? Is there any way to intervene?

    Research Shines Light On Why Women More Likely To Develop Alzheimer’s

    Why Do More Woman Have Alzheimer’s Than Men?

    Protein tau may spread more rapidly in female brains than males, adding to range of factors

    The reason women appear to be at greater risk of developing Alzheimers disease than men might be due to a number of genetic, anatomical and even social influences, researchers have suggested.

    Recent figures show about 65% of those with living with dementia in the UK are women, with a similar statistic seen in the US for Alzheimers disease, while dementia is the leading cause of death for women in England. Alzheimers disease is only one of the types of dementia, but the most common form.

    While one explanation is that dementia risk increases with age, and women have longer life expectancies than men, new research suggests there might be more to the matter, including that protein tangles found within neurons and linked to Alzheimers disease might spread differently in womens brains than mens.

    The study, presented at the Alzheimers Association International Conference in Los Angeles by researchers from Vanderbilt University and which has not yet been peer-reviewed, used scans from a method called positron emission tomography. That allowed them to look at the way clumps of a protein called tau were spread in the brains of 123 men and 178 women without cognitive problems, as well as 101 men and 60 women with mild cognitive problems although not yet diagnosed with Alzheimers disease. Cognitively normal older people often have small amounts of tau in certain areas of their brain.

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    What Are The 3 Risk Factors Associated With Dementia

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease causes a type of dementia that gets worse unusually fast. More common causes of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, Lewy body dementia and frontotemporal dementia, typically progress more slowly. Through a process scientists don’t yet understand, misfolded prion protein destroys brain cells.

    Q Why Are Women At A Higher Risk Of Alzheimers Than Men

    Answer: First of all, its been known for a long time that women are more prone to get Alzheimers than men. It was thought to be related to the fact that women live longer, but when they really looked at it, it turns out that people who are the equivalent age, like in their 80s, theres really not a higher proportion of women than men.

    There could be multiple reasons, and theres been a lot of hypotheses about why more women have Alzheimers than men. One thing they know from the genetics standpoint is that women who carry the APOE e4 gene and about 20 percent of the population has this in varying degrees are more prone. Theres equal chance of men and women having this gene, but the women who carry it are much more likely to get Alzheimers.

    They also know that certain factors make them much more vulnerable to getting the disease. It may be related to estrogen but its unsure just how its related to estrogen. Some of the trials have found that estrogen replacement by itself without progesterone actually made women more vulnerable to Alzheimers. But then again, the timing of the estrogen is important. Its when they get estrogen right as they go into menopause that it seems to mitigate the risk somewhat. Whereas if they take estrogen later in the course of their menopause it doesnt really seen to help. Certain forms of estrogen certainly are worse for women, such as Premarin, which is an older form of estrogen that women used to get.

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