Study: Women may be under-diagnosed for Alzheimer’s

For Your Health

New research suggests that adjusting memory test scoring could help catch Alzheimer's earlier in women.

(CNN) — Did you know, women are more likely to get Alzheimer’s but men are usually diagnosed with it sooner.

So what’s the deal?

Well, scientists say it has to do with memory tests.

Specifically, verbal memory, which is basically the ability to memorize information and remember words and stories.

Women typically do better in this area, which allows them to compensate for the damage that Alzheimer’s does to their brains.

Problem is, they eventually get to the point where they can’t compensate anymore and then they develop symptoms faster.

By comparison, researchers worry men could be over-diagnosed or diagnosed too soon which is why they’re suggesting some changes to the memory test making some tweaks based on sex.

If they can catch the disease earlier in women they can benefit from treatment and keeping men from being diagnosed too soon means they can avoid taking medicine they don’t need.

To be clear, there are no changes to these tests in the works right now but scientists are calling this study a persuasive first step.

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