If you believe that men seem more prone to memory problems as they age than women, new research suggests you may be right.
The researchers were interested in studying a condition called “mild cognitive impairment” or MCI. This is considered a problem with remembering something that goes beyond the effects of normal aging. Despite common wisdom, memory problems are not considered a normal sign of aging by researchers.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) was found one and a half times more often in men than women. This condition can lead to Alzheimer’s disease in some cases.
In the current study, 2,050 older adults between the ages of 70 to 89 were interviewed about their memory and their medical history. Then they were tested on their memory and cognitive skills.
Most people in the study — 76 percent — had normal memory and cognitive scores.
But the study found that nearly 14 percent of participants had mild cognitive impairment, while another 10 percent had an aging-related disease called dementia.
In terms of gender differences, 19 percent of men had mild cognitive impairment compared to 14 percent of women.
“This is the first study conducted among community-dwelling persons to find a higher prevalence of MCI in men,” said study author Dr. Ronald Petersen, with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
“If these results are confirmed in other studies, it may suggest that factors related to gender play a role in the disease. For example, men may experience cognitive decline earlier in life but more gradually, whereas women may transition from normal memory directly to dementia at a later age but more quickly,” he added.
People in the study who had a low level of education or were never married also had a higher rate of mild cognitive impairment as well.
These 8 tips for helping to improve memory can work at any age, especially with mild cognitive impairment.
The research is published in the latest print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Source: American Academy of Neurology