There may be a hormonal link to a person's likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease, a new study has suggested - but it only seems to be relevant to men.
A team led by Dr Emmanuelle Duron from Broca Hospital in Paris examined almost 700 patients above pensionable age, 481 of whom had Alzheimer's disease or some form of degenerative cognitive impairment.
It was found that those who had low levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) were more likely to develop problems with their memory.
However, the link between these proteins and Alzheimer's was only demonstrated in male patients.
Dr Duron warned that this association does not indicate a causal relationship, but added: "Our research shows a possible usefulness of IGF-1 in Alzheimer's disease treatment, especially in early stages."
It comes after a study last month found that people who grew up in a rural area could have more than double the normal risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, although the researchers involved were unable to suggest why.
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