Women Really Are More Likely to be Depressed and Get Alzheimer’s, and Here’s How It’s All In Our Heads

Women Really Are More Likely to be Depressed and Get Alzheimer’s, and Here’s How It’s All In Our Heads

It comes down to blood flow and the fact that, yes, we actually are different from men.

It can be a fantastic thing to be a woman. Sometimes though, we definitely get the short end of the stick.

It’s a scientific fact that females experience higher rates of depression and anxiety compared with men, and we’re also much more prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease.

At the age of 65, women have a 1 in 6 chance of developing the disease, whereas men have a 1 in 11 chance of getting it.

The medical world is still uncovering why dementia develops at all, and they have some answers pinned down. There just aren’t any that can change the course of the disease for good, at least yet.

Thankfully, new research is helping to shed light on why there may be different rates of dementia in women versus men, though.

 A new study analyzed the brains of over 26,000 people who were both mentally healthy and those who were suffering from conditions like mood disorders, ADHD and other mental health issues.

Participants performed certain concentration tasks and had a total of 128 brain regions analyzed while doing so. It was found was that the brains of men and women actually do work differently.

Women’s brains were found to have increased blood flow in the prefrontal cortex, which could explain why we’re known to be more collaborative, empathetic and intuitive.

Scientists also found more blood flowing through the limbic areas of women’s brains, which they say could contribute to our greater tendency to experience anxiety, depression, insomnia, and eating disorders.

The discoveries are key to developing different medicines for women, when it comes to treating illnesses like Alzheimer’s, says the study’s lead author, psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen, MD.

It’s a small step, but is hopefully something that’s key in working towards a cure for dementia.

Photo credits: michaelheim/Bigstock

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