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Disease Mechanisms: Sex differences (Milestone 2.D)

Create programs in basic, translational and clinical research aimed at comprehensive understanding of the impact of sex differences on the trajectories of brain aging and disease, phenotypes of AD and ADRD risk and responsiveness to treatment. 

Success Criteria

  • Launch at least 12 new projects exploring the impact of sex differences on the trajectories of brain aging and disease, phenotypes of risk for AD and related dementias and responsiveness to treatment.

Summary of Key Accomplishments

AD is more prevalent in women compared to men; sex differences are known to affect the way that many diseases present in terms of symptoms and response to treatments. Through a targeted funding initiative, NIA has supported 21 cross-disciplinary projects focused on understanding how genes, environment, and hormonal status interact to produce different types of disease risk and responsiveness to therapy in AD/ADRD. Studies supported through this program have revealed significant sex-specific differences in the molecular “fabric” which may lead to differences in individuals’ response to treatment. For example, women with AD experience more musculoskeletal and bone disorders than men with AD, suggesting potential issues with bone or calcium metabolism in women with AD, and women who carry the ApoE4 gene were more likely than men with this gene to have changes in their blood that suggest possible issues with brain energy production.

The key accomplishments summary is current as of March 2022. 

Research Implementation Area
Research on Disease Mechanisms

Accomplishments/Implementation Activities

Funding Initiatives

Research Programs and Resources

Research Highlights

Relevant Recommendations

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