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Among Women, New High-Risk Population Identified for Alzheimer’s disease by Dr. Smita Patel

AARP blog image Nov 20 2017

This second installment to the three-part series in recognition of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month continues its focus on new research to reduce risks and prevent the disease.

Carrying one or two copies of the risk variant of the gene Apolipoprotein E (“APOE e4”) increases a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to people who do not carry the risk variant. And recently, researchers discovered a subset of this population who carries this risk variant to be at even greater risk.

Researchers from The Global Alzheimer’s Interactive Network studied data on 58,000 men and women ages 55-85. They assessed the interaction between APOE e4, and biological sex. They found that while men and women who carry APOE e4 have an overall similar risk for developing Alzheimer’s, women between the ages of 65 and 75 were at a markedly increased risk compared to men of the same age.

Research tells us that engaging in healthy behaviors, like adopting a Mediterranean diet, achieving 40 minutes of aerobic exercise 4 days a week, and improving the quality of sleep, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and that this risk reduction is most significant among those who carry APOE e4.

Considering that women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at a later stage than men [include link: ] –learning about your risks and doing everything you can do to improve your brain health is an important opportunity. Talk with a brain health expert and find out what you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s at every stage in life.

New SC, Kukull W, Beekly D et al. JAMA Neurol. 2017 Aug 28. [Epub ahead of print)


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