Biological Sex Differences in Alzheimer’s Preclinical Research: A Call to Action

Although women account for almost two-thirds of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have largely neglected to study sex as a biological variable (SABV) in Alzheimer’s preclinical research. This is especially concerning as a growing body of evidence shows clear sex differences in the presentation and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) Alzheimer’s Disease Network published a commentary in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, stating that better integration of SABV could open new doors in treatment research and providing examples of best practices to account for SABV within preclinical studies.

Specifically, SWHR calls for Alzheimer’s researchers to standardize consideration of SABV in preclinical research by agreeing on methodologies for (1) how to incorporate female mice within preclinical research and (2) how to insightfully account for SABV. The paper points to several best practice models for consideration and highlights the role of biomedical research journals and institutions in supporting these endeavors.

“Standardizing this practice across the field of Alzheimer’s research may lead to significant discoveries and will certainly ensure that all patients benefit from Alzheimer’s research, regardless of biological sex,” the commentary states.

READ THE COMMENTARY

Learn more about the work of SWHR’s Alzheimer’s Disease Network, a group of expert researchers and clinicians working to raise awareness of biological sex differences and advocating for future research and policies related to women’s health and Alzheimer’s disease.

Although women account for almost two-thirds of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have largely neglected to study sex as a biological variable (SABV) in Alzheimer’s preclinical research. This is especially concerning as a growing body of evidence shows clear sex differences in the presentation and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) Alzheimer’s Disease Network published a commentary in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, stating that better integration of SABV could open new doors in treatment research and providing examples of best practices to account for SABV within preclinical studies.

Specifically, SWHR calls for Alzheimer’s researchers to standardize consideration of SABV in preclinical research by agreeing on methodologies for (1) how to incorporate female mice within preclinical research and (2) how to insightfully account for SABV. The paper points to several best practice models for consideration and highlights the role of biomedical research journals and institutions in supporting these endeavors.

“Standardizing this practice across the field of Alzheimer’s research may lead to significant discoveries and will certainly ensure that all patients benefit from Alzheimer’s research, regardless of biological sex,” the commentary states.

READ THE COMMENTARY

Learn more about the work of SWHR’s Alzheimer’s Disease Network, a group of expert researchers and clinicians working to raise awareness of biological sex differences and advocating for future research and policies related to women’s health and Alzheimer’s disease.

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