Women are more vulnerable than men to Alzheimer's
Women may be at a greater risk from dementia than men after a new study suggested that they decline mentally at far faster rates.
Mild cognitive impairment, which is a forerunner to dementia, appears to affect woman at twice the rate as it affects men, according to scientists.
Researchers also discovered women are far more susceptible to developing dementia in the first place. Figures presented at the Alzheimer's Association's Annual Conference in Washington showed that around two-thirds of older people living with Alzheimer's are women.
Results found that, at the age of 65, women have a one in six chance of developing Alzheimer's disease compared with a one in 11 chance for men.
Dr Heather Snyder, the director of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer's Association, said: "Women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer's, and there is an urgent need to understand if differences in brain structure, disease progression and biological characterises contribute to higher prevalence and rates of cognitive decline.
"To help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, it's critical to understand the reason for these differences."
There are 850,000 people suffering from dementia in the UK, with Alzheimer's being the most common type. The disease kills at least 60,000 people each year.
A study of 398 people, by Duke University in North Carolina, also showed that the rate of mental decline was two times faster in women than in men.
Katherine Lin, of Duke Medical School, said: "Our findings suggest that men and women at risk for Alzheimer's may be having two very different experiences.
"Women with mild memory problems deteriorate at much faster rates than men in cognitive and functional abilities."
The first drug that can slow down the progression of Alzheimer's if caught early is expected to be unveiled today.
Trials have been ongoing into a new treatment called Solanezumab, which appears to stop the disease. (© Daily Telegraph, London)