On its front page, the Washington Post (9/3, A1, Kunkle) reports that “recent findings suggest that biological, genetic and even cultural influences may play heavy roles” in why more women than men get Alzheimer’s disease. For example, “a recent study…found that women with the APOe4 gene were twice as likely to get Alzheimer’s as women who did not carry the gene,” even though “the risk factor appeared to be little different between men who had the APOe4 gene and those who did not.”
Women are more likely to develop depression, and previous research has tied late-life depression to dementia. Scientists are also trying to narrow down the role played by the hormone estrogen, which helps regulate brain metabolism in females.
— “Why do more women get Alzheimer’s? Research points to genetics, other factors,” Fredrick Kunkle, Washington Post, September 3, 2014.