Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms Differ In Men and Women

Tim Watt  |  January 17, 2013

They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and the differences between the sexes are clear in many aspects of healthcare. Now, a new study has found that the same is true in Alzheimer's care - the disease may manifest itself differently in men than in women, HealthDay News reports. The findings have yet to be confirmed by further research, but the preliminary study may have a significant impact on Alzheimer's care.

The study looked at 109 people who were recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, scanning their brains to examine atrophy that is common during the disease. The scans showed that atrophy happens earlier in women than in men. Women also had less gray matter in their brains, which indicated that they likely lost more of it during the year before their diagnosis than men did, and men and women had lost this gray matter in different parts of their brains. The study also showed that men seemed to have more problems with their thinking ability at the time of diagnosis than women.

The researchers presented their findings, which are part of an emerging field of science known as gender-specific medicine, at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago. They say that while the research is interesting, more research is necessary to determine whether the differences are related to gender and sex, or simply caused by other factors. 

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