Alzheimer's disease is more common among women than men. Scientists are questioning the long-held belief that is because women tend to have longer life expectancy than men.
Researchers are planning gap studies to study the other possible factors such as genetic makeup, biological differences and lifestyle factors, which could result in new treatments and preventative care.
Advertisement"There are many biological factors that raise questions related to a higher risk of the disease in women," said, Maria Carrillo, an Alzheimer's Association (AA) chief science officer.
AA plans to start funding gap studies to research the biological factors. AA report estimated that women at the age of 65 have 1 in 7 chance of receiving an Alzheimer's diagnosis before they pass away. The odds are 1 in 11 for men. On an average women live 4 or 5 years longer than men.
Longer life expectancy in women can increase the rates of the disease as the disease occurs in the form of mental decline.
Genetic factors also influence the rates of disease. The human gene ApoE-4 increases the risk of the disease.
Researchers at Stanford University examined the medical records of over 8,000 people who had a ApoE-4 gene structure and found that women with a variant are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's as women without the gene, while men's risk was only just a little higher.