AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Women's Better Verbal Memory Skills May Mask Early Signs of Alzheimer's

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Women may have better verbal memory skills than men even when their brains show the same level of problems metabolizing glucose, which occurs in people with Alzheimer’s disease. 

“Women perform better than men on tests of verbal memory throughout life, which may give them a buffer of protection against losing their verbal memory skills in the precursor stages of Alzheimer’s disease, known as mild cognitive impairment,” said study author Erin E. Sundermann, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego, who conducted the research while at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y. “This is especially important because verbal memory tests are used to diagnose people with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment, so women may not be diagnosed until they are further along in the disease.” 

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