Does Gender Play a Role in Memory Loss?

Some health conditions are more prevalent in one gender over the other, and memory loss is no different. While memory is considered to be stable in both genders, each one has unique abilities when it comes to memory. It can be important to understand these differences to provide better treatment for memory loss.

Memory Ability by Gender

Both genders have the ability to remember certain people, places and events or other information. However, women and men have unique capabilities of what they can remember. For instance, women are better able to utilize explicit memory. This is evident in the ability of women to recognize a face they have seen in the past. This task relies on emotional recognition which is stronger for women.

Women are known for being able to multi-task better than men. The reason for this is that women have better short-term memory than their male counterparts. They can take information and immediately put it in storage for the short-term.

Men are known for having stronger visual memory, depending on the image. Tests show that men are better able to remember an advertisement on television than women, especially if it contains powerful images.

Memory Loss

Research on memory loss has shown inconsistencies. However, more women suffer from Alzheimer’s disease than men. Contributing factors include a longer lifespan for women and a decline in estrogen after menopause, which causes issues with the metabolism in the brain.

Women often show more immediate decline in memory at the onset of Alzheimer’s, but men catch up in time and even surpass them. Hormone replacement therapy has not been shown to be effective in either preventing the disease or slowing it down.

General decline in memory can vary by gender as well. This type of memory loss is not the result of a condition but just the inability to recall certain information. If all other factors are equal, studies show that men have a 50 percent higher risk of having notable memory decline over women.

Treating Memory Loss by Gender

What this information tells people is that therapies and programs directed at preventing memory decline or preserving memory in cases of a mental disease. For instance, images may help with recall for men while emotional mental exercises may be more beneficial for women.

Art and music are often used as therapy for those who experience a loss in memory. There have been instances when a song or piece of art will cause a person to recall an event or occasion they had previously forgotten. Someone may have forgotten who their family is but still recall how to play the piano.

As more studies are done on memory loss and gender differences, new treatments and programs will be developed which focus on certain areas of the brain and may even be gender specific. Anyone who has a loved one with memory issues can search out assisted living centers and facilities with extensive memory care programs to help residents enjoy a higher quality of life.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20100907/memory-loss-may-be-more-common-in-men

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_differences_in_memory

Memory Loss in WomenMemory Loss in Men