Alison Caldwell, UCSD Health News Release, October 9, 2019

Women make up two-thirds of patients with Alzheimer’s disease — so why is it that women are less likely than men to be diagnosed with its precursor, amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI)? This was the question guiding a new study by University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers studying how the life-long female advantage in verbal memory performance might be masking early symptoms of dementia in women.

In a study published October 9, 2019 by Neurology® , the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, the team studied the data of nearly 1,000 patients who participated in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) and found that when verbal memory test cut-offs were tailored to patient sex, more female patients and fewer male patients were considered to have aMCI. This could change the way aMCI diagnoses are determined and make it easier to catch the condition in its early stages.

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