The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease among women was linked to menopause

Explain why most Alzheimer's patients are women, maybe menopause. This is the opinion of American scientists at the University of Arizona, who published their research in the journal Neurology. When the reproductive period ends, the concentration of estrogen and some other hormones in a woman's body sharply decreases. This, in turn, can predict changing in brain function, the authors note.

According to statistics, about two-thirds of Alzheimer's patients are women. Scientists reckon the reason is that women lived longer than men. However, in the new study, experts admit that to serve as a predictor of brain dysfunction can change at a hormonal level. This means that menopause can predict the development of Alzheimer's disease.

The authors have studied the health data of 120 volunteers, men, and women. They were interested in early signs of Alzheimer's disease development (e.g. rate of accumulation of toxic proteins, reduction of white and gray matter in the brain, etc.). They compared the data with all known risk factors to identify the most significant of them.

The results showed that women had 30% more amyloid plaques in their brains than men of the same age. In addition, their cell metabolic rate was 22% lower, while the volume of gray and white matter was 11% lower.

The scientists found out that such results were related to how much hormonal background had changed in women after menopause. The fewer hormones were produced, the more pronounced were changing in brain function. 

Thus, the authors conclude that it is possible to predict Alzheimer's disease in women, not in old age, and already in 45-50 years - when the level of estrogen and other sex hormones decreases.

June 30, 2020, 2:32 p.m.

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