Alzheimer disease (AD) is a common chronic neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects people aged 65 or older. According to a report by the Alzheimer Association, about 5.8 million individuals of all ages are suffering from AD in the US alone.1 About 3.5 million women and 2.3 million men have AD.
Disproportionate number of women
New findings from prospective studies were presented at the 2019 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Los Angeles.2 Discussions about gender influences on the prevalence and development of AD were particularly relevant.
KEY FACTORS that play vital roles in the understanding of AD’s progression include:
1) Non-employed women have more rapid memory decline compared with women who continue to engage in their careers.
2) The verbal memory of healthy women, as well as that of female patients with AD, surpassed that of healthy men. Women appear to have a comparative verbal advantage that may enable them to compensate more effectively in the early stages of AD.
3) A critical feature of AD is neurofibrillary tangles, which are intracellularly formed by tau protein. Women with mild cognitive impairment had a denser distribution and higher burden of tau. The findings suggest that female brains may have a stronger connection with abnormal tau protein.
4) Using genome sequencing, 11 genes have been found that are related to gender; immune gene (CD1E) in women and the mucolipin gene (MCOLN3) in men appear to be risk factors for AD.
Dr Aliev is President and Founder, International Research Institute, San Antonio, TX; Professor of Pharmacology, First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow; and Professor, Institute of Physiologically Active Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences, Chernogolovka, Russia. Dr Bachurin is Scientific Director and Professor of Chemistry, Institute of Physiologically Active Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences. Ms Mikhaylenko is a PhD Student, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Physiologically Active Compounds, Russian Academy of Sciences. Dr Bragin is President and Founder, Stress Relief and Memory Training Center, Brooklyn, NY. Dr Avila -Rodriguez is Leading Researcher, Health Sciences Faculty, Clinical Sciences Department, University of Tolima, Ibague, Colombia. Dr Somasundaram is Professor, Biology Department, Salem University, Salem, WV. Dr Kirkland is Professor, Biology Department and Executive Vice President, Salem University. Dr Tarasov is Chairman, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow. The authors report no conflicts of interest concerning the subject matter of this article.
Acknowledgments—This research was supported within the framework of the grant provided by CSP Ministry of the Health Russian Federation, and by the IPAC RAS State Targets Project # 0090-2019-0005; the Russian Academic Excellence Project “5-100” for the Sechenov University, in Moscow, Russia, also provided support for the research.
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