The Realities of Gender-Targeted Therapeutics for Alzheimer Disease: Jessica Caldwell, PhD


The director of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Preventer Center at Cleveland Clinic provided perspective on the possibility of gender-specific therapies to overcome disparities in Alzheimer disease. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"That kind of precision medicine, including directing medical targets toward women and men specifically, is certainly the goal. I don't think we're there yet, but I think that work like mine points to the fact that it may be more important to engage women, either in trials or in preventative approaches, even earlier than men.”

Led by Jessica Caldwell, PhD, a recently conducted study explored sex differences in regions of the default network (DN), otherwise considered one of the most important and affected networks in Alzheimer disease (AD). Significant diagnosis by interaction effects were observed in functional connectivity (FC), especially at the level of posterior ventral DN, and specifically, between the bilateral angular gyrus (ANG) and calcarine (CAL), and precuneus and middle occipital gyrus (MOG). Post hoc analysis showed discrepancies between women and men observed in the AD vs mild cognitive impairment comparison, such as the left ANG–left MOG and right ANG–CAL, where they showed an opposite direction of FC.1

Despite the large-scale efforts to improve drug development, the options for patients with AD remain limited, especially for women, who are disproportionately impacted by the disease. In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Caldwell, director of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic, discussed the possibility of future therapeutics directed solely for women, and whether these routes are worth pursuing. Additionally, she provided insight on prevention methods for both men and women with the disease, and whether they can be tailored to certain brain regions.

1. Cieri F, Yang Z, Kinney J, Cummings JL, Cordes D, Caldwell JK. Interaction effect of sex and diagnosis on functional connectivity within the default network in healthy controls, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer disease. Presented at: 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; July 31 to August 4; San Diego, CA. 68142

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