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Your Healthy Family: Common brain issues in women

Posted at 7:25 AM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 07:25:29-04

Women can face a range of brain issues, but there are a few in particular as women age that are more common, including Alzheimer's Disease.

Dr. Jessica Caldwell, the Director of the Women's Alzheimer's Prevention Center at Cleveland Clinic, said as women age, they go through issues that can look like or create a memory problem.

"One of those is just having a lot of stress. When we feel stressed, our brains can feel foggy. We might not get enough sleep and we might be preoccupied," Dr. Caldwell said.

She said women also deal with the effects of menopause, which can impact sleep and cognition. Dr. Caldwell said women are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s Disease, and researchers are still trying to figure out why. Symptoms of Alzheimer's include memory loss, confusion, repeating questions, trouble performing tasks, difficulty learning new information and poor judgment or reasoning.

Dr. Caldwell said it’s important to note — everyone experiences some forgetfulness from time to time.

“When you’re worried about your thinking, there are a few things you can think about, and one of those is just that some forgetting is normal for any of us at any age. So just because you missed a meeting or you lost your keys one time, that doesn’t mean that you have a brain problem,” she said.

Dr. Caldwell said to consider how often you’re forgetting things and how severe it is. For example — rather than forgetting an old friend’s name, are you forgetting a family member’s name? If so, that’s a sign you should be evaluated by your doctor.