A recent Hollywood release offered us an insight on how Alzheimer’s can deeply affect one’s life, leading to progressive brain degradation and memory loss. All this results in complete isolation, due to the failure of present treatments to improve a patient’s life and put a stop to the suffering.
Alice, the movie that received high praise in Hollywood, shed light over a very important matter: women are more exposed to develop Alzheimer’s compared to men. Doctors are now in search for evidence to demonstrate why that happens and maybe come up with better treatments and alternatives to decrease the number of victims.
Almost two thirds of American women are touched by Alzheimer’s. Previous studies revealed that women are more exposed to risks of developing the disease because they tend to live longer than men. This sounds like a hypothesis coming from a group of amateurs rather than serious scientists. Now new studies are being conducted to clarify the matter and analyze the differences.
Some previous research revealed that women who are known to carry the APOE-E4 gene which increases the risk for Alzheimer’s are obviously more inclined to develop the disease, compared to men who carry the same gene. Statistics show that more than one in seven people carries a copy of the mentioned gene. The genetic structure could be a more realistic cause than age, but further research and analysis must demonstrate the theory. Finding the exact reason why Alzheimer’s appears in women could help in developing treatments of preventive care.
The study was conducted by a group of scientists from Stanford University who looked over medical data from more than 8,000 older men and women, to see who carried the APOE-E4 gene and who went on to develop the disease over the following four years.
The APOE gene is present in various versions in all of us, playing a main role in the way cholesterol and fats are assimilated by our internal body structures. Certain variants of the gene affect Alzheimer’s risk, some to a great extent.
The most recent report released by Alzheimer’s Association outlines that at age 65, women have a 1 in 6 chance to develop the affection, compared with a 1 in 11 chance for men. No less than 15 scientists now work together to find out more about women’s risk. Later this summer the research will receive consistent funding to address all the gaps.
Along with age and gene characteristics, researchers point out that menopause can make women more vulnerable in front of the disease. However, gene research is still the landmark that offers the most staggering evidence of a sex difference.
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