Women are twice as likely to develop a dementia as men of the same age, experts have revealed, and to make it worse, they tend to deteriorate at a much faster rate than the opposite sex. The Alzheimer’s Association states that:
Women over the age of 65 ‘have a one in six chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared with a 1 in 11 chance for men.’
Alzheimer’s Gene - Specific to Women
One of the reasons being looked at is the additional effect of the menopause that can affect women’s memory function and conversely, that men have often had a longer working life and kept their brains more active. Also, women carry a specific gene (APOE 4) that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
As the working age for men and women is beginning to even out over time, this factor is likely to become less of an influence, however there is little one can do about the gene. Keith Laws, a professor in the university of School of Life and Medical Sciences advises that:
‘genetics are hard to change but easier to screen, cognitive reserve is modifiable…it is therefore fundamental that we continue to identify the role of sex differences to enable more accurate diagnoses and open up doors so new treatments to emerge.’
New Alzheimer’s Drug to be Revealed
A new drug that is said to halt the process of Alzheimer’s disease is to be announced this week. The drug, called Solanezumab is by drugs company Eli Lilly, is an antibody ‘which works by binding to the amyloid plaques which cause Alzheimer’s disease and clearing them from the brain.’
The trial have been having a positive effect on people with mild symptoms and ‘appears to stop the degenerative disease in its tracks’. If this proves to be successful, it could help the 850,000 people currently living with a dementia in the UK.