According to a new study, there is growing evidence suggesting that women may be at increased risk of certain physiological changes associated with Alzheimer disease (AD). The study has been published in JAMA Neurology.
Dr Rachel F. Buckley, at Harvard Aging Brain Study, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston and colleagues conducted a study to ascertain whether sex differences exist in the pathologic trajectory of Alzheimer disease and association of sex with regional tau deposition (a marker of AD) in clinically normal individuals.
Alzheimer’s is one of the commonest forms of dementia. It is estimated that by the year 2020, approximately 70% of the world’s population aged 60 and above will be living in developing countries, with 14.2% in India. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other forms of dementia are a growing public health problem among the elderly in developing countries, whose ageing population is increasing rapidly.
The study examined nearly 300 clinically normal adults (average age 74) for deposits in the brain of the protein tau, a marker of AD, as measured by positron emission tomography.
The researchers found that women showed more tau in a region of the brain than men, which was associated with individuals with greater amounts of plaque deposits of the β-amyloid peptide (Aβ), another marker of AD. The women with higher amyloid burden showed greater entorhinal cortical tau signal compared with men with higher amyloid burden. Sex differences did not exist in amyloid load or apolipoprotein E ε4 frequency.
The researchers concluded that early tau deposition was elevated in women compared with men in individuals on the Alzheimer disease trajectory. These findings lend support to a growing body of literature that highlights a biological underpinning for sex differences in Alzheimer disease risk.These findings support other studies in identifying potential reasons for differences in risk for AD between men and women. The study population may limit the generalizability of these results.
For further reference log on to: doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.4693