New research suggests sex-specific genes could hold answers to Alzheimer's disease risk – Alzheimer’s Society comment

New research presented today (Tuesday 16th July) at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2019 in Los Angeles identified a number of differences in the progression and risk of Alzheimer’s disease between women and men.

Research from the University of Miami found novel sex-specific genes that are associated with risk and resilience for Alzheimer’s disease, which could provide unique risk profiles for men and women.

Fiona Carragher, Chief Policy and Research Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, says:

'It’s true that women live longer than men and age is a key risk factor for dementia, but this alone does not account for why there are twice as many women living with dementia as men. 

'This study is the first to show that there could be specific dementia risk genes that only affect women.

'We now need to further explore this area to understand how big or small the effect of these genes is.

'Dementia research has had a blindspot when it comes to understanding women’s risk for far too long.

'This is unacceptable and Alzheimer’s Society has recently taken steps to increase gender representation in our funded research to ensure we can discover why this devastating disease continues to affect so many women across the world.'