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Study Finds Women Develop Dementia Faster Than Men

Women are at greater risk from dementia than men are, according to a new study. The findings show that women who suffer from mild cognitive impairment decline much faster than men with the same symptoms do.

The rate at which the decline in memory loss isn’t the only significant discovery of the study. Women are far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, reports The Telegraph. Women aged 65 have a one in six chance of developing the disease, while men have a one in eleven chance.

The New York Times reports that of the five million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, two-thirds are women. Researchers have spent decades trying to discover why so many women suffer from degenerative memory loss, other than the fact that women tend to live longer then men.

“Women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Heather Snyder, Director of Medical and Scientific Operations at the Alzheimer’s Association.

Women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s, and there is an urgent need to understand if differences in brain structure, disease progression, and biological characterizes contribute to higher prevalence and rates of cognitive decline.

The new study was presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, and the researchers have no leads on why gender is a possible cause of the disease.

“All we can say at this point is there appears to be a faster trajectory for women than men,” said Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry at the Duke Institue for Brain Sciences and senior author of the study.

All we can say at this point is there appears to be a faster trajectory for women than men.

The researchers studied cognitive test scores of 398 participants, both male and female, who were primarily in their 70s, reports Time. The women’s test scores fell at an average of two points per year, compared to one point for the men. In addition, women’s quality of life declined at a faster rate.

In an unrelated study, scientists have discovered that Alzheimer’s development differs by race.

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