Women and Dementia: Why the Risk Is Higher

by JFS Care
Women and Dementia
Women and dementia: the risk is higher, and here’s why.

Scientists are at long last starting to get a handle on the imbalance between Alzheimer’s diagnoses in females and men. Generally, approximately 2/3 of people with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. are female, and as researchers start to better understand the particular nuances behind the pattern of women and dementia, we are able to begin to target them.

As reported by the Alzheimer’s Association’s Director of Scientific Engagement, Rebecca Edelmayer, “Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease as both persons living with the disease and as caregivers of those with dementia. Over the last three years, the Alzheimer’s Association has invested $3.2 million into 14 projects looking at sex differences for the disease and some of the findings today may explain risk, prevalence, and rate of decline for women.”

The longstanding theory has long been that females merely have a greater than anticipated lifespan, and we understand that Alzheimer’s is more widespread as people get older. Even so, the theory has changed to incorporate the following further determinants:

  • Biology. Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers learned that women with moderate cognitive impairment had a far more accelerated spread of tau (the protein in the brain related to loss of brain cells), along with an increased extent of tau network connectivity, as compared to males.
  • Memory. An investigation carried out by the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine discovered higher scores on verbal memory tests in women than males, which might bring about the ability of women’s brains to compensate for cognitive impairments and to the postponement of a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
  • Employment. Memory decrease in women ages 60 – 70 who seldom had a job was more significant than in females with continual employment, per the outcomes of a report conducted by the University of California Los Angeles – showing that “consistent cognitive stimulation from work helps increase cognitive reserve in women.”
  • Lifestyle. Given that a healthy lifestyle, particularly a lowered incidence of stress, helps lessen Alzheimer’s risk, women are particularly susceptible – because they are frequently in the role of family caregiver, a recognized inducer of stress.

All of these conclusions showcase the need for women to take care of their own overall health, and JFS Care, providers of in home care Santa Monica seniors deserve, is prepared to help. We offer the dependable respite care that allows family caregivers to take much needed breaks from caring for their loved ones while focusing on self-care. Our caregivers are specially trained and experienced in meeting the unique needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, providing family caregivers with the peace of mind in knowing their cherished older adults are getting the best quality care. Give us a call at (213) 383-2273 for more information on the link between women and dementia, or to arrange for a free in-home consultation; and click here to see our full service area.