MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For older adults on the Alzheimer disease trajectory, women have elevated early tau deposition compared with men, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in JAMA Neurology.

Rachel F. Buckley, Ph.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined sex differences in the cross-sectional association between β-amyloid (Aβ) and regional tau deposition as measured with positron emission tomography. Data were obtained from 193 clinically normal individuals from the Harvard Aging Brain Study and 103 clinically normal individuals from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.

Across studies, the researchers observed no clear correlation of sex with regional tau. In both cohorts, compared with men, clinically normal women exhibited higher entorhinal cortical tau (meta-analytic estimate: β [male] = −0.11 [0.05]; 95 percent confidence interval, −0.21 to −0.02; P = 0.02), which correlated with individuals with higher Aβ burden. There was no correlation noted with regional tau for an interaction between sex and APOE ε4 (meta-analytic estimate: β [male, APOE ε4+] = −0.15 [0.09]; 95 percent confidence interval, −0.32 to 0.01; P = 0.07).

“Early tau deposition may be accelerated in women compared with men, with our findings lending support to a growing body of literature that exposes a biological underpinning for sex differences in Alzheimer disease risk,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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