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Alzheimer’s Hits Men and Women Differently. Why?

At this point, enough evidence has been amassed to show that Alzheimer’s affects men and women differently. For example, sex hormones such as estrogen influence the course of the disease. Surgical removal of a woman’s ovaries before menopause is associated with a higher risk of dementia, but using estrogen therapy after surgery until age 50 negates that risk. In men, there are conflicting studies as to whether androgen-deprivation therapy, which is used to treat prostate cancer, increases the risk for Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, most studies of Alzheimer’s risk combine data for women and men -- which locks up the insights awaiting us inside this evidence. So researchers at the Society for Women’s Health Research Interdisciplinary Network on Alzheimer’s Disease recently made a call for greater analysis of research data by sex to stimulate new approaches that will improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s. Curious? Read more about this topic in THIS Scientific American article.