Understanding the impact of sex and gender in Alzheimer's disease: A call to action

Alzheimers Dement. 2018 Sep;14(9):1171-1183. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2018.04.008. Epub 2018 Jun 12.


Introduction: Precision medicine methodologies and approaches have advanced our understanding of the clinical presentation, development, progression, and management of Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia. However, sex and gender have not yet been adequately integrated into many of these approaches.

Methods: The Society for Women's Health Research Interdisciplinary Network on AD, comprised of an expert panel of scientists and clinicians, reviewed ongoing and published research related to sex and gender differences in AD.

Results: The current review is a result of this Network's efforts and aims to: (1) highlight the current state-of-the-science in the AD field on sex and gender differences; (2) address knowledge gaps in assessing sex and gender differences; and (3) discuss 12 priority areas that merit further research.

Discussion: The exclusion of sex and gender has impeded faster advancement in the detection, treatment, and care of AD across the clinical spectrum. Greater attention to these differences will improve outcomes for both sexes.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Biomarkers; Epidemiology; Gender; Hormones; Men; Menopause; Mild cognitive impairment; Risk factors; Sex; Women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / physiopathology
  • Alzheimer Disease* / therapy
  • Animals
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Sex Characteristics*