Alzheimer’s disease is a difficult affliction to deal with. There is no cure, although there are now drugs that provide modest help. Some relief can also be found in mental exercises that involve complex reasoning, such as poker, which can easily be played at an online casino. However, there is a mystery surrounding Alzheimer’s, and dementia in general that is just being unravelled.
In most cases, diseases are not very selective about who they choose to target. But there are the rare exceptions. Dementia, including the subsequent Alzheimer’s disease, seems to have a gender preference, with a noticeable leaning towards afflicting women by a very significant margin. Although, of course, saying the condition itself has a preference is misleading. Instead, it is more accurate to say that circumstances are playing a very curious role.
It is only just recently that this massive gender bias is even being looked at, with a number of researchers buckling down and attempting to get to the bottom of this seemingly bizarre medical mystery. After all, it is speculated that the answers may not only provide incredibly important information on the nature of the afflictions, but also provide insight into combatting them.
How Big Is The Bias?
Most are not aware just how massive the gender bias is. As it stands today, around 50 million people are living with the affliction, with both genders taken into account. This is a substantial number as far as statistics go, making it one of the more serious health problems globally. But, the number is expected to increase to much greater heights, hitting 75 million by the time the calendars tick over to 2030. In terms of the gender bias, it is not an exaggeration to say that most of the 50 million sufferers are women.
Deaths in Australia that are directly related to dementia are roughly three quarters women. This statistic is reflected in the United States, where it is estimated that two thirds of all those living with the affliction are likewise women. For further statistical evidence, take into account these last facts; women over 60 years old in the United States are about twice as likely to be diagnosed with dementia than breast cancer. Furthermore, in Wales and Australia it is the most common way for women to die.
Revealing The Facts
In some cases, it has been suggested that the bias is simply due to the fact that women often live longer than men. So, since the risk of cognitive related diseases increases with age, it would explain the gender bias. This explanation does hold some substance, but only up to a certain point. It should also be kept in mind that records show a massive decrease in male cases, ages 65 and up. Clearly there is more going on here.
One study has suggested that the link is a decrease in smoking, specifically in men. Since heart disease has historically been a more male-focused problem, related to more men being smokers than women, and given that heart disease has been linked to brain disorders, the numbers seem to balance out. On the other hand, another study has shown that Alzheimer’s may be linked to depression, and that women are more inclined to suffer from depression than men.
There are no solid conclusions, or hard proof about any of these theories. The situation can still be called an unsolved mystery. However, research is on going, and hopes are still high that hard answers will eventually be found.
As it stands, the gender bias remains, and only seems to be increasing. But with researchers still hard at work looking for answers, perhaps some more light will be shed on the situation soon. With that light, methods of fighting dementia may likewise become more focused, and a real cure found once and for all.