Health & Fitness Men's Lifestyle

How Is Alzheimer’s Different For Men?

This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

You’re not alone if it seems like there are more women you know with Alzheimer’s than males. Nearly two-thirds of all seniors with Alzheimer’s disease are female, according to the research. Alzheimer’s disease affects both sexes, however women appear to have a greater chance of developing the condition. But is this the case?

It’s an issue that’s receiving a lot of attention from researchers across the board. The fact that women are living longer than males is one possible cause, but scientists are also looking at other potential causes.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease often begins with memory loss, however this might vary from person to person. Deterioration in other elements of thinking, such as the ability to locate the proper words, problems with vision or spatial orientation, and problems with reasoning or judgment, may also suggest the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. However, not everyone who has MCI will go on to acquire Alzheimer’s, even though it is a possible precursor to the illness.

People with Alzheimer’s are unable to perform ordinary tasks such as driving, cooking, or managing payments because of the disease. For example, they may ask the same questions over and over; they may also get easily disoriented; they may also misplace or misplace things; and they may even find the simplest of tasks difficult. When a condition advances, some patients become agitated, irate, or aggressive.

Is Alzheimer’s disease misdiagnosed in male patients?

Other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, such as loss of abstract thought and language ability impairment, are less common, even among those who have the disease.

Among 1,600 patients with Alzheimer’s, men were shown to exhibit less of the most typical signs of the condition, according to the study. So, the question arises: Are male patients receiving incorrect or non-existent diagnoses because of this?

The hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in memory, was shown to be less damaged in males with Alzheimer’s than it was in women. As a result, men were more prone than women to suffer from language-related disorders such as dyslexia. Corticobasal degeneration, which affects mobility and movement, is also more common in those with Parkinson’s disease.

As males get older, they may be healthier and at lower risk of disease.

Another study takes a somewhat different approach to the topic of whether men or women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. A “survival bias” may be at play in the differential diagnosis, they say. Middle-aged males are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than women of the same age, according to a new study. Men over the age of 65 may have a reduced overall risk of Alzheimer’s disease than women of the same age.

Male Alzheimer’s disease symptoms progress more gradually than female Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.

As a result, Duke University Medical Center began its own investigation into the matter. Another intriguing reason why women may be more susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease is the rapidity with which the disease advances in women.

According to this long-term study, the deterioration in cognitive function in females with Alzheimer’s disease was twice as rapid as that in males. It is possible that the men’s slower deterioration may prevent them from being identified with Alzheimer’s or a comparable kind of dementia until the condition worsens or the males are considerably older, researchers believe.

Some male-specific genetic risk factors may have a lower impact than they do on women.

There was also a variation in disease progression between men and women with the APOE-e4 genotype in a Duke Research study. Researchers previously connected Alzheimer’s risk to this genetic variant. APOE-e4 interacts with estrogen in a way that scientists aren’t yet able to explain, but they believe this is the cause of the increased risk for women.

Ongoing research into the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and gender

For this reason, the Alzheimer’s Association organized a meeting of top researchers to discuss this subject in greater detail. The “Gender Vulnerability Related to Alzheimer’s Disease” think tank identified gaps in research that needed filling, such as underlying conditions, hormonal influences, or dietary and exercise habits.  For more information, visit BetterHelp to learn more about how specific lifestyle choices have an impact on cognitive decline as you age.