Saturday, September 11, 2010

Men more prone to memory problems

Mild cognitive impairment, considered a precursor of Alzheimer's disease, is more common in men and is believed to be more likely to develop at younger ages.

"The gender differences were somewhat surprising to us because most people believe that women are at higher risk than men," said lead researcher Ronald Petersen.

According to a study published in Neurology, men are at a 1.54-fold greater risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, an intermediate state between the cognitive changes of aging and the earliest features of dementia.

"Men may experience cognitive decline earlier in life but more gradually, whereas women may transition from normal cognition directly to dementia at a later age but more abruptly," Peterson added.

Mild cognitive impairment is more prevalent among those who are less educated, and have never married. Scientists concluded that their findings point out the interplay of sex-specific risk factors, disease course, and survival.

They, therefore, urged individuals to adopt a healthy lifestyle, read and go to the movies more frequently and be physically active.