There's new evidence suggesting that women's brains are especially vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease and other problems with memory and thinking.
Women with mild cognitive impairment, which can lead to Alzheimer's, tend to decline faster than men, researchers reported this week at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Washington, D.C.
Another study showed that women's brains tend to contain more amyloid, the substance that forms sticky plaques in Alzheimer's. And a third study found that women who have surgery with general anesthesia are more likely than men to develop long-term problems with thinking and memory.
The studies help explain why women make up two-thirds of all Americans with Alzheimer's. And the results challenge the notion that more women have Alzheimer's simply because they tend to outlive men, says Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco.
"There's something else going on in terms of the biology [or] the environment for women," Yaffe says.