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Senior Health Week: Alzheimer's Disease
Health News You Can Use •

Alzheimer News:

Women With Alzheimer's Perform Worse Than Men on Tests of Intellectual Abilities

Women with Alzheimer's disease tend to perform worse than men on tests of intellectual abilities, according to researchers in Germany.

When compared to men, women also seem to have slight weaknesses in spatial thinking ability -- regardless of whether dementia is present, the researchers added.

The study included 84 Alzheimer's patients and 438 non-demented elderly, who were assessed using the standard diagnostic interview for Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia.

Subscores for various cognitive functions were compared between men and women, after accounting for variables such as age, degree of cognitive impairment, level of education, presence of lifetime diagnosis of major depression and of recent depressive symptoms.

Results of the study, appearing in Archives of Women's Mental Health, showed the cognitive skills of non-demented women to be inferior to those of the men.

While the skills of women with Alzheimer's disease were similarly lower as well, researchers also observed that Alzheimer's women also performed worse on tests of intellectual abilities.

"Gender differences in the neurodegenerative process of AD may add to gender differences in domain specific cognitive impairment," the researchers said. "Further research on this topic is needed."

Source: Alzheimer Week of June 2, 2002


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