By : Roselen Fernandez
We all know that men’s and women’s brain are wired differently but both sexes are prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease. But with further research, women are 3 times more likely to have the disease at a faster rate of decline of the mental functions than men in the same age of the disease.
The University of Hertfordshire conducted a study,they examined fifteen studies that were conducted on Alzheimer’s patients for both men and women and it was found out that men with the disease regularly outperform women on tests that measured the individual’s memory capacity and their ability to do verbal tasks and visuo-spatial tasks. Some previous research showed that women are more likely to develop and be diagnosed with the disease than men although investigation on how the disease affects the brain functions are conflicting. There are theories offered why women are more likely to have the disease than men at different rates and mental decline. The theories are as follows:
1. Hormones bringing some trouble. Studies have shown that estrogen may act as a barrier or shield against the disease in women. When women reach menopause, loss of estrogen will happen which in turn increase the risk of women developing Alzheimer’s and susceptible to brain function decline.
2. Men may have more robust reserves. It was proven that cognitive reserve has emerged as a proven buffer against the development of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Generally as a gender, men have more exposure reserve-building activities like unique experiences, higher education or a more challenging job or professional career as compared to women.
3. Genes may be another cause. The APOE genotype is the primary risk factor in developing Alzheimer’s disease. It has been shown that it has a higher risks on the cognitive functioning of women than men.
Some experts stated that women are losing the battle because women live longer. More women will have the disease than men. It is also known that Alzheimer’s sufferers have clumps of damaged protein in their brains. The clamps will show on different areas depending on the sex on the individual. 90% of male sufferers shows clumps in the hypothalamus but only 10% shows in women. Women sufferers have the clumps accumulate nearby the area that controls the production of the neurochemical compound called acetylene. It also shows that women can have worse symptoms than men even though they have less damaged proteins in their brain.
The Role Omega-3 Fatty Acids In Fighting Alzheimers
Foods that are rich in omega-3s can help protect the brain from developing the effects and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. A research made by the Columbia University Medical center states that eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, nuts, calamari oil and chicken is linked with lower levels of beta-amyloid protein which is linked to the brain disease. Previous studies that suggested that DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) slowed the accumulation of the two proteins that are associated with the brain-clogging plaques and tangles that causes the disease. Studies also show that DHA may be a useful treatment to Alzheimer’s disease. Though the researchers stated that the said study is among the first to suggest that omega-3 can delay or prevent the development of Alzheimer’s later in life.
Omega-3s are very important for brain function specifically DHA. Higher intakes are linked to memory, brain function and cognition development. Naturally, the human body cannot produce omega-3s thus is it recommended to get it from our diet or as supplements.
Author: Roselen is health blogger and a contributor of certain beauty and health magazines. Her principles are very much aligned with Health365, an Australian website that promotes healthy lifestyle and educates Australians about certain health conditions, on which she takes most of her motivation when blogging.