How Do People Know They Have It
The first sign of Alzheimer disease is an ongoing pattern of forgetting things. This starts to affect a person’s daily life. He or she may forget where the grocery store is or the names of family and friends. This stage may last for some time or get worse quickly, causing more severe memory loss and forgetfulness.
Risk Factors Beyond Longevity
Until now, the gap had been largely attributed to the longevity of women, since age is the number one risk factor for Alzheimers. Roberta Diaz Brinton, a University of Southern California professor who studies gender differences said, It is true that age is the greatest risk factor for developing Alzheimers disease. But she went on to say, on average, women live four or five years longer than men and we know that Alzheimers is a disease that starts 20 years before the diagnosis.
Thus far, genetic studies have offered a startling account for the difference. Researchers from Stanford University studied over 8,000 people looking for a form of the gene ApoE-4, a gene that increases the risk of Alzheimers. They found that women who carry a copy of that particular gene variant were twice as likely to eventually develop Alzheimers as women without the gene. Men who had the gene were only at a slightly increased risk than men who did not have the gene. While it is not clear why the gene poses such a drastic increase in risk, Brinton believes it may be how the gene interacts with estrogen.
Another study suggests that it may be related to heart health. A study from Framingham, Massachusetts suggests that because men are more likely to die from heart disease in middle age, those men who live past 65 may have healthier hearts which may protect the brain from Alzheimers. These two diseases share many risk factors including high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
Is Alzheimers More Common In Men Or Women
By Steve Hanson 9 am on February 10, 2020
Alzheimers can affect adults in all age ranges. However, statistically, its more likely to affect older adults, especially women. In fact, women have a 1 in 5 chance of developing this common form of dementia. Men, on the other hand, have a 1 in 11 chance of being affected by Alzheimers. Today, were going to look at why women are more likely to get Alzheimers disease than men.
You May Like: Neil Diamond Alzheimer’s
Longevity Is One Reason Women Are Affected More
The World Health Organization reports women typically live about 68 years longer than men. This added longevity has long been cited as a reason women are more often affected by Alzheimers disease. In other words, because women live longer, theyre more susceptible to developing this condition during their more advanced years, when the odds of getting AD are naturally greater.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior home care. Rockwall families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
Look After Your Heart
Research shows that people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or are obese, particularly around middle age, have a greater risk of developing dementia later in life. Leaving these conditions untreated can lead to damaged blood vessels in the brain, which in turn damages brain cells and leads to impaired thinking functions.
Although there are no guarantees that keeping your heart healthy will prevent dementia, you will give yourself the best chance of avoiding or delaying dementia.
Promisingly, studies have shown that the treatment of high blood pressure reduces that risk. Other studies indicate that treating high cholesterol and diabetes may also reduce the risk of developing dementia, although more research is needed in this area.
It is recommended you have regular check-ups to assess your:
You May Like: Margaret Thatcher Dementia
What Can Lead To Alzheimer’s Disease
There are a few things that may make people more likely to get Alzheimerâs. So far, research has linked the disease with:
- Age. Your risk for Alzheimer’s goes up as you get older. For most people, it starts going up after age 65.
- Gender. Women get the disease more often than men.
- Family history. People who have a parent or sibling with Alzheimerâs are more likely to get it themselves.
- Down syndrome. Itâs not clear why, but people with this disorder often get Alzheimer’s disease in their 30s and 40s.
- Head injury. Some studies have shown a link between Alzheimer’s disease and a major head injury.
Risk Factors And Prevention
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.
Recommended Reading: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s
Interventions To Reduce Racial And Ethnic Disparities
Although there is extensive evidence documenting disparities among different racial and ethnic groups with Alzheimer’s disease, there are few studies evaluating interventions to address disparities in this population. Almost all interventions designed to explicitly address racial and ethnic disparities focus on cultural competency on the part of the health care provider and/or health system. Interventions not specific to the Alzheimer’s disease population include care coordination, care management, community health workers, and culturally tailored education interventions .
Cultural competency is especially important in the health care setting, where barriers to communication and access to quality care can result in delayed diagnosis, inappropriate treatment, or worse. Cultural competence involves both awareness and knowledge about other cultures and skill in relating to people of other cultures. Cultural competence requires acknowledging that culture and ethnicity guide and affect behavior, and that all people are cultural beings .
A culturally competent health care environment includes the following characteristics : a culturally diverse staff that reflects the communities served bilingual staff or interpreters for the clients’ languages culture-specific and language-specific training for providers and signs and materials in the clients’ languages that are sensitive to cultural norms.
Outreach to Minority Communities
Outreach To Minority Communities
Another approach to addressing disparities involves targeting programs and outreach to minority populations. For example, the Alzheimer’s Disease Demonstration Grants to States program provided demonstration grants to Florida, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia, that focused on African Americans . For example, in the District of Columbia, the intervention focused on educational efforts conducted within church communities. They also held awareness events and developed caregiver respite programs. More recently, several of the current Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Program grantees, including South Carolina, California, Florida, North Carolina and Puerto Rico, are targeting ethnic or racial groups.
Another intervention aimed at reaching minority populations is the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Satellite Diagnostic and Treatment Clinics program . Begun in 1990, the program established satellite clinics linked with one of the 30 existing Alzheimer’s Disease Centers. In recent years, satellite clinics have been established on the Choctaw nation reservation, in Harlem, at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, and in St. Louis. The Alzheimer’s Disease Centers are actively involved in formulating strategies and plans to recruit diverse populations to their clinics. Strategies that have met success include improved patient coordination, increasing the personal attention patients receive, home visits, and support groups .
Also Check: Dementia Ribbon Color
Research Shows How Men’s Women’s Brains May Experience It Differently
by Hallie Levine, AARP, July 16, 2019| 0
En español | Almost two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease are women, and women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as they are breast cancer. They’re also more likely than men to develop the brain disease, even after factoring in women’s typically longer lifespans. New research presented today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2019 suggests that sex-specific genes and crucial differences in the brain may help explain why women appear to be more at risk for this devastating disorder.
“These new studies make clear that there are biological and perhaps environmental factors that account for sex differences, says Gary Small, M.D., Parlow-Solomon Professor on Aging at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Just like we take gender into account when determining risk for other health conditions, like depression or heart disease, we need to be aware of its impact on Alzheimer’s, as well.”
Four studies presented today make clear that the brains of women are structured differently than men, and that that in turn may impact risk of Alzheimer’s.
But this advantage disappears once more severe amyloid plaque develops, and that’s when glucose metabolism in women just tanks, she adds. Once they can’t compensate any longer, their memory starts rapidly declining.”
Boost Your Brain Health With Staying Sharp
How Alzheimer’s Disease Is Treated
There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medicines are available that can help relieve some of the symptoms.
Various other types of support are also available to help people with Alzheimer’s live as independently as possible, such as making changes to your home environment so it’s easier to move around and remember daily tasks.
Psychological treatments such as cognitive stimulation therapy may also be offered to help support your memory, problem solving skills and language ability.
Read more about treating Alzheimer’s disease.
Recommended Reading: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s
What Happens In Alzheimer Disease
You probably know that your brain works by sending signals. Chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters , allow brain cells to talk to each other. But a person with Alzheimer disease has lower amounts of neurotransmitters.
People with Alzheimer disease also develop deposits of stuff that prevent the cells from working properly. When this happens, the cells can’t send the right signals to other parts of the brain. Over time, brain cells affected by Alzheimer disease also begin to shrink and die.
What Are The Risk Factors For Dementia
If you, or someone you know, has developed dementia, it is natural to ask why. It is not usually possible to say for certain, although a doctor may be able to say which factor might have contributed. In most cases a mixture of risk factors potentially avoidable and not will be responsible.
Find out more about risk factors for dementia
Use our interactive tool to understand risk factors, and read more about the research evidence behind the newspaper headlines.
You May Like: What Color Ribbon Is Alzheimer’s
Women Have A Higher Caregiver Burden Than Men
Speaking of caregiving, 60 percent of family caregivers, including caregivers for family members with dementia, are women. Studies show that full-time caregivers of a loved one may actually be at a higher risk of developing dementia compared to non-caregivers. Plus, female caregivers are more likely to change their lifestyles compared to male caregivers, often giving up their job, moving or changing their living arrangements in order to provide care.
Why Are Women More Likely To Develop Dementia Than Men
We dont fully understand why women are more likely to develop Alzheimers disease than men, but one of the main theories is to do with the hormone oestrogen.
Whilst both men and women produce oestrogen, its the main female sex hormone and so women usually have more of it. When women go through menopause, their bodies stop producing as much oestrogen.
On the other hand, men continue to produce testosterone, the male sex hormone, throughout their lives. Testosterone is actually converted into oestrogen inside brain cells. This means that women who have been through menopause have lower levels of oestrogen in their brain than men of the same age.
As Alzheimers disease is more common in women after the menopause, it is possible that oestrogen plays a role in protecting the brain from the damage caused by Alzheimers, and that this protective effect is lost when oestrogen levels are decreased.
You May Like: Did Reagan Have Alzheimer’s In Office
What Are The Early Signs And Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Now that we’ve discussed the scientific definitions, let’s turn to the warning signs. According to the experts at the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 10 major early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s to watch out for, and they are as follows:
Women Have Twice The Risk Of Developing Depression Compared To Men
Depression is linked to higher Alzheimer’s risk and women are twice as likely to have depression than men. While the link between depression and Alzheimer’s isn’t completely understood, researchers can trace depression to shrinking of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory function. The hippocampus is important for memory formation in women, but was not found to be important in men.
Recommended Reading: Dementia Vs Senility
Families Wait And Hope
While science churns slowly on, Audrey Schaffermans family is still struggling to cope without her.
When Audrey was 17, she married a man named Dennis Rose. After each child and grandchild was born, Audrey would proudly say, It looks like the Roses!
After Audreys death in 2007, Jaime Stone and some of her other grandchildren formed a team to raise money for research into the disease. They walk under the name Audreys Little Roses in the annual Walk to End Alzheimers, sponsored by the Alzheimers Association.
Its the best way they know to honor the matriarch who took so much with her when she left them.
We used to be a really, really, really close family. But here in the last couple of years, nobody really wants to get together, Stone says.
Her grandmother, she says, was the glue that held them all together. Its been difficult.
Which Is More Likely To Get Heart Disease: Dementia Or Coronary Artery Disease
A study of more than 1,000 people has found that people with dementia are at increased risk of heart disease.
Thats according to a study published today in The Lancet.
The researchers found that older people who were at least 70 years old were more likely than their younger counterparts to have heart disease and that they had the same risk as people with coronary artery diseases.
The findings come at a time when many people are concerned about the rise in dementia, and the lack of treatment options.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen Health Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, looked at data from the Danish National Registry of Disease Control and Prevention, a national database of hospital and health records.
The study, which was funded by the Danish Health Foundation, looked for differences between people with different types of heart diseases.
The team looked at two groups of people: those with coronary arterial disease and those without.
The researchers found a significant increase in the number of heart attacks among people with cardiovascular disease, but not among people without the condition.
The difference was even greater for those with dementia, which increases the risk by 2.4 times.
The study is a reminder that people living with heart disease are not necessarily more likely or healthier than those without, says Dr Daniela Fahlmark-Pieters, one of the researchers.
Also Check: Do People With Dementia Dream
Who Is More Likely To Get A Pacemaker Someone With Or Without Dementia
- 4 per 1000 person-years for participants without cognitive impairment
- 4.7 per 1000 person-years for participants with MCI
- 6.5 per 1000 person-years for participants with dementia
- Patients were 1.6 times more likely to receive a pacemaker if they had dementia than if they didnât have any cognitive impairment
- Patients were 2.9 more likely to receive a pacemaker if they had severe dementia than if they didnât have any cognitive impairment.
Cultural Beliefs About Dementia And Cognitive Decline
Social and cultural differences in the meaning of dementia and beliefs about cognitive decline among elders may play a part in the different rates of AD by ethnicity, and may also explain the lack of consensus on rates of AD across studies. Cultural values may include beliefs that dementia-related changes are part of the normal aging process rather than an abnormal process, such that in some groups and communities, cognitive decline may not elicit concern until symptoms are well beyond the early or mild stages . Differences in the meaning of cognitive decline highlight the need for community-based random samples and recruitment strategies that improve the rates of participation of ethnically diverse elders .
Individuals within some cultures may be more likely to view cognitive decline as disgraceful and something that should be kept within the family. A dementing illness may be difficult to accept when the ethnic elder may be the historian, mediator, and provider of emotional and financial support for many generations of family members living in the same home . found that although African-Caribbean elders living in London reported a larger number of family members living nearby and were more likely to live with at least one other family member, they received no more help from their families with activities of daily living, yet were more likely to have difficulties in this area.
You May Like: Senility Vs Dementia