Menopause May Be Reason More Women Develop Alzheimer’s Than Men

Menopause May Be Reason More Women Develop Alzheimer’s Than Men
Women perform better than men on all memory measures, but these sex differences tend to disappear as women age and enter menopause, according to a study published in the journal Menopause. These findings highlight the importance of steroid hormones, especially estradiol —a form of the female sex hormone estrogen — in maintaining memory function, and could explain why women are almost twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer’s disease. "For years, the dominant thinking in the field was that women were at higher risk of Alzheimer's disease simply because they tend to live longer," Dr. Jill Goldstein, the study's senior author and the director of research at the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, said in a news release. "But that idea was perpetuated by research that looked late in life, not at middle age, when key hormonal transitions take place and when changes in memory begin to surface." For the study, “Sex differences in episodic memory in early midlife: impact of reproductive aging,” the team of researchers recruited a total of 212 men and women, ages 45 to 55. They assessed the hormonal and menopause status of the participants as well as their episodic memory, or
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