Alzheimer’s disease is complicated. Scientists and doctors are working every day to learn more about the disease. They are hoping to learn more about what causes the disease, how to treat it, and, hopefully one day, a cure. One aspect of the disease scientists have been researching is why it occurs more often in women than in men.
According to an article posted on AARP’s website, 66 percent of people living with Alzheimer’s disease are women.
In fact, women who are older the age of 60 are twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s than breast cancer. Recent research suggests that the reason for this may have something to do with differences in the female brain.
Brain Differences May Increase Alzheimer’s Risk
Researchers intrigued by the fact that women often outperform men on verbal memory tests even with brain changes due to Alzheimer’s. This typically leads to women being diagnosed in later stages of the disease than men. To examine this, researchers involved 1,000 seniors in a study in which they all underwent a brain scan to measure the development of amyloid plaques. In addition, they determined how well their brains used glucose. Because glucose is what gives the brain energy, if the brain doesn’t use it effectively, the function of the brain is impaired.
The results of this study confirmed that women perform better on verbal memory tests with mild to moderate development of amyloid plaques. It turns out that the reason for this may be that the female participant’s brains were processing more glucose than male brains, allowing them to overcome deficiencies. However, when there are more significant amounts of amyloid plaques in the brain, this difference disappears, causing a rapid decline in memory.
In another study, researchers focused on tau, which are clumps of protein that cause brain cells to die off. Again, the scientists found that women’s brains were able to compensate better during early stages of the disease. They also found that there were more tau clusters in women’s brains and that they were more complex. Once the tau clusters affected more of the brain, women’s memories deteriorated quickly.
How Senior Care Can Help
Whether your aging relative is male or female, senior care can assist them to live a better quality of life with Alzheimer’s disease. A senior care provider can not only ensure the older adult is safe when family caregivers cannot be there, but they can also help them to be happier. Senior care providers can offer companionship and a sense of well-being when memory loss and cognitive decline can make the world a frightening place. Senior care providers can assist with all the tasks that become difficult due to the disease, including making meals, getting dressed, bathing, and taking care of the house.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Encino, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Help. Serving All of Los Angeles County. Call Us Today (888) 989-7388