Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem [HU] report discovering a mechanism in the brains of female Alzheimer’s patients that leads to rapid cognitive deterioration. This finding provides the first molecular explanation for the accelerated cognitive damage observed in women with Alzheimer’s disease, potentially paving the way for the development of more suitable medications for female patients.
In a study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the HU-led team investigated why dementia indicators rise more rapidly and strongly in women compared to men. They found that women with Alzheimer’s experience accelerated dementia and a loss of cholinergic neurons, but the underlying mechanisms had previously been unknown.
The researchers discovered a direct link between a family of mitochondrial-originated RNA fragments and the rate of dementia progression in women for the first time. Their findings suggest that severe depletion of these RNA fragments in affected brain nuclei correlates with the rapid deterioration of cognitive abilities in women with Alzheimer’s.