What are some of the factors that lead to greater dementia risk for women? Elizabeth Tracey reports


The fact that women develop dementia more often than men has resulted in lots of research into why. Halima Amjad, a dementia expert at Johns Hopkins, says the hormone estrogen has gotten quite of bit of attention but there’s much more to the story.

Amjad: There's also research into genetics and looking at sex specific genes so again can that explain the difference and then even beyond just the biology and genetics there's also research looking at social and cultural factors. So for example we know that levels of education and work history earlier in life can affect the risk of dementia later in life and especially I think now there's generational change but we know that in the current older generations women may not have had the same educational and work experiences that men did.  :29

Amjad explains that work and education can help establish a lot of connections in the brain, and more connections may be protective later in life. She notes that this observation is behind the idea that continuing to learn new skills as we age may help delay or prevent the development of dementia. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.