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Cognitive Concerns 

Cognitive Concerns
Cognitive Concerns

M. Angela O’Neal

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date: 27 October 2021

This chapter reviews the incidence and gender-specific risks for women developing Alzheimer’s disease, AD. The incidence of AD doubles every five years beginning at age 60. Furthermore, AD is 2–3 times more common in women. Observational trials suggested that estrogen could play a role in delaying the onset of AD. However, the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, WHIMS, published in 2003, demonstrated that estrogen, with or without medroxyprogesterone, substantially increased the risk of dementia of any cause, with AD being the most frequent etiology. Additional studies suggesting that there might be a window where hormonal therapy is beneficial have not been corroborated. The gender differences in AD may be partially explained by the finding that women have less ability to clear amyloid. This results in a larger amyloid burden. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the only clearly documented preventative treatment for AD.

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