The number of diseases associated with the age of humans is very high. As the age of an individual progresses, he becomes more prone to several new diseases and disorders. These disorders are primarily related to the Brain and its function. The major impairments happen in the memory and functions of the brain. One such disorder is Alzheimer's or Alzheimer's disease (AD). It is referred to as the progressive degeneration of an individual’s ability to remember things or behave normally and carry out the everyday task. The preliminary level of symptoms occurs with the impairment of memory such as recent happenings or conversation.
However, as the disease progresses, the individual may find it difficult to carry out his or her routine, because of severe memory loss. This is also accompanied by the inability to behave socially in normal surroundings. The medications of Alzheimer are mainly targeted to maximize the memory and make the individual live independent to a certain extent.
What makes gender bias?
Recent scientific studies have proven that women are more susceptible to the disease than men. This was published as an article under the title, “Mitochondria and Neurodegenerative diseases”. It is a major misconception that age is the major factor that causes the difference in the rate of disease incidence between men and women. People have always believed that the rate of Alzheimer's disease is high in women, as women are expected to live longer than men. Though this is partially correct, this is not the sole reason why more women population suffers from Alzheimer's.
Higher rate of depression
Yet another reason could be that women undergo multiple folds of stresses when compared to men. Stress is linked to the smaller hippocampus, a region in the brain that is closely related to memory. The increased level of stress and depression in women might be the reason for causing Alzheimer’s in women. Previous studies on the hippocampus revealed that a shrinkage in the hippocampus region of the Brain was faster in women than in men. This is yet another suggestion, why women are more prone to Alzheimer than men.
Nature of work
Women are usually housewives and caretakers. The job nature and work style are different from that of men. This is yet another difference between the genders, that might be the reason for the higher incidence of Alzheimer's in women. The fitness factor also plays a vital role. Men are usually interested in bodybuilding and also in keeping their physique fit and healthy. While this is a missing factor among women. They give the least importance to body fitness and burden up their minds with the caretaker jobs they do at home. Though women do not stress on exercise or physical fitness, the level of estrogen also makes a difference among the population of women. All these factors might be another reason for causing neuronal disorders.
The rapid decline
Studies reveal that during the diagnosis for Alzheimer's, despite the pathological results women perform better in the verbal test that is given to test for the presence of Alzheimer's disease. But once they are diagnosed with Alzheimer the rate of decline is very high. This is due to the mental burden that women take up. On the other hand, men are less prone to mental complications and hence the rate of decline is comparatively low.
The class of Apolipoprotein E is known to have variants that are associated with the severity of the disease in the case of Alzheimer's. Type 4 of APOE is known to cause severe Alzheimer's disease in women. But the presence of the same protein in men has a different effect. The result is that women with APOE4 suffer Alzheimer's, while men with the same protein do not. This is because of the composition of chemicals that vary inside the body of both men and women.
The most recent scientific discovery is that the mitochondria present in the cells of women are protected from the amyloid-beta peptide, a chemical constituent present in the cell thatch cause damage. This is a chemical constituent present in the cell of young women that emits a higher level of Reactive Oxygen species which are protected by the high level of estrogen in their body. With aging, the level of estrogen secretion decline sea the effect of amyloid-beta peptide increases rapidly, causing the degeneration of cells. When the degeneration of the cells happens in the neural and neuronal tissues, the result is neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's.
Researches have been undertaken in this field to reduce the effect of Alzheimer’s in women. Alternative supplements and chemical compounds are being tested to protect the nerve cells from degeneration. There was no much significant difference observed in the results.