Public Release: 

Men more likely to have problems with memory and thinking skills

American Academy of Neurology

CHICAGO - When it comes to remembering things, new research shows men are more likely than women to have mild cognitive impairment, the transition stage before dementia. The research will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology 60th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 12-19, 2008.

"This is one of the first studies to determine the prevalence of mild cognitive impairment among men and women who have been randomly selected from a community to participate in the study," said study author Rosebud Roberts, MD, with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and member of the American Academy of Neurology. Mild cognitive impairment can also be described as impairment in memory or other thinking skills beyond what's expected for a person's age and education.

For the study, 2,050 people living in Olmsted County, Minnesota, who were between the ages of 70 and 89 were interviewed, examined, and given cognitive tests. Overall, 15 percent of the group had mild cognitive impairment.

The study found men were one-and-a-half times more likely to have mild cognitive impairment than women. The finding remained the same regardless of a man's education or marital status.

"These findings are in contrast to studies which have found more women than men (or an equal proportion) have dementia, and suggest there's a delayed progression to dementia in men," said Roberts. "Alternately, women may develop dementia at a faster rate than men."

###

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Robert H. and Clarice Smith and Abigail Van Buren Alzheimer's Disease Research Program.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of over 21,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and stroke.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com.

Editor's Note: Dr. Roberts will present this research during a scientific platform session at 2:00 p.m. CT/3:00 p.m. ET, on Wednesday, April 16, 2008, in Room 178 of McCormick Place West Convention Center.

She will be available for media questions during a press briefing at 11:00 a.m. CT/12:00 p.m. ET, on Tuesday, April 15, 2008, in the on-site Press Interview Room, room 182.

If you are a member of the media interested in listening to the press briefing via conference call, please call the AAN Press Room (April 12 - 18) at (312) 791-7053.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.