It’s been said that Alzheimer’s is a woman’s disease. Women are both more likely to develop the disease and more likely be dementia caregivers. Older theories proposed that women are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s because they live longer, but research does not support this theory. Researchers are now wondering is it biological? Sleep related? Gene related?
Although much is yet to be learned, new research may offer insights into why women are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than men.
POTENTIAL RISK FACTORS OF INTEREST
HORMONES: Menopause has been linked to higher beta-amyloid loads, lower glucose metabolism, and lower gray and white matter volumes, which are all important biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease.
SLEEP: Women may be more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation and insomnia.
STRESS: Women are typically the caretakers and spend more time juggling careers and families, which could lead to higher levels of stress.
EXERCISE: In general, women are not as physically active in comparison to men, and exercise is one of the best things we can do for our brains.
MENTAL STIMULATION: Women haven’t always had as many opportunities to have mentally stimulating jobs as men. However, future research could reflect the vast strides women have made in education and careers.
So, what can we do to reduce our risk of developing dementia? Research shows lifestyle can have BIG IMPACTS on reducing your risk. Exercise, manage your stress, stay socially connected, limit your sugar intake, and improve your sleep habits to help limit your risk of cognitive decline. Start with just one lifestyle addition!
Source: beingpatient.com, alzdiscovery.org