Women Are More Vulnerable to Alzheimer’s than Men

By 9  am On


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) disproportionately affects women. More than 65 percent of people living with AD are women, and most Alzheimer’s caregivers are also women. Conventional wisdom has long held that women are more susceptible to AD because they tend to live longer, but a growing body of research is showing this certainly isn’t the only factor that makes women more vulnerable. Three important studies over the last several years have offered scientists new clues as to why women are more susceptible to the disease.


Women with Cognitive Impairment Decline Faster than Men

A 2015 study conducted by Duke University scientists found that women with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) decline twice as fast as men. While people with mild cognitive impairment can live independently, they have measurable impairment and are at higher risk for developing dementia. During this study, researchers tested 400 people with MCI using an 11-part test designed to diagnose Alzheimer’s. After years of follow-up, researchers found the women in the study declined about two points per year, while the men declined at a rate of one point each year. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care Fort Lauderdale , a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.


Anesthesia & Surgery Increase AD Risk for Women

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University made a startling discovery: surgery and anesthesia can affect thinking and brain volume, but women are more likely to be affected. Researchers found that regardless of anesthesia type, women who underwent surgery and anesthesia had a faster rate of cognitive decline than men and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. 

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. Fort Lauderdale families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.


Women Have Higher Brain Amyloid Levels than Men

Finally, researchers have discovered that women tend to have higher levels of beta-amyloid in their brains. Beta-amyloid plaques are a classic sign of Alzheimer’s. Beta-amyloid destroys synapses in the brain before it clumps into plaques, eventually leading to nerve damage and cognitive decline. 

According to one study, women have higher amyloid levels than men of the same cognitive ability and age. Surprisingly, this is true even of women who lack the APOE-e4 gene associated with a doubled risk of dementia in women. Men who have this gene are just slightly more likely to develop AD. While the exact reason women are more vulnerable to AD is still unknown, it’s likely a combination of factors such as genetics, a different rate at which brain cells die, and the effect of estrogen and menopause on the brain. 

Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Fort Lauderdale Assisting Hands Home Care provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our caregivers help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. Assisting Hands Home Care will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (754) 900-5102 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.