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Women have Farther to Fall: Gender Differences Between Normal Elderly and Alzheimer's Disease in Verbal Memory Engender Better Detection of Alzheimer's Disease in Women

  • Robert M. Chapman (a1), Mark Mapstone (a2), Margaret N. Gardner (a3), Tiffany C. Sandoval (a3), John W. McCrary (a1), Maria D. Guillily (a3), Lindsey A. Reilly (a3) and Elizabeth DeGrush (a3)...

We analyzed verbal episodic memory learning and recall using the Logical Memory (LM) subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale-III to determine how gender differences in AD compare to those seen in normal elderly and whether or not these differences impact assessment of AD. We administered the LM to both an AD and a Control group, each comprised of 21 men and 21 women, and found a large drop in performance from normal elders to AD. Of interest was a gender interaction whereby the women's scores dropped 1.6 times more than the men's did. Control women on average outperformed Control men on every aspect of the test, including immediate recall, delayed recall, and learning. Conversely, AD women tended to perform worse than AD men. Additionally, the LM achieved perfect diagnostic accuracy in discriminant analysis of AD versus Control women, a statistically significantly higher result than for men. The results indicate the LM is a more powerful and reliable tool in detecting AD in women than in men. (JINS, 2011, 17, 654–662)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert M. Chapman, Center for Visual Science at the University of Rochester, 775 Library Road, Rochester, New York 14627-0270. E-mail:
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B. Kolb , Q. Wishaw (1985). Fundamentals of human neuropsychology (2nd ed.). San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.

P.P. Zandi , M.C. Carlson , B.L. Plassman , K.A. Welsh-Bohmer , L.S. Mayer , D.C. Steffens , J.C.S. Breitner (2002). Hormone replacement therapy and incidence of Alzheimer's disease in older women: The Cache County Study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 288(17), 21232129.

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Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
  • ISSN: 1355-6177
  • EISSN: 1469-7661
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-international-neuropsychological-society
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