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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2012;34(9):989-98. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2012.712676. Epub 2012 Aug 23.

Greater cognitive deterioration in women than men with Alzheimer's disease: a meta analysis.

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Department of Psychology, School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK.


Studies reporting on the cognitive abilities of men and women with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are surprisingly rare. We carried out a meta-analysis of neurocognitive data from 15 studies (n = 828 men; 1,238 women), which revealed a consistent male advantage on verbal and visuospatial tasks and tests of episodic and semantic memory. Moderator regression analyses showed that age, education level, and dementia severity did not significantly predict the male advantage. Reasons posited for this advantage include a reduction of estrogen in postmenopausal women, sex differences in AD pathology, and greater cognitive reserve in men.

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