Race, Gender and Alzheimer's Disease

Are women and African-Americans at a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease—as some data suggests—or are there other factors in play? 

Women are statistically more likely than men to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. While 16 percent of women over 71 years old develop the degenerative brain disorder, only 11 percent of men of the same age are afflicted with it. That women live longer on average than men may explain this difference, but changes in hormone levels may also play a factor.


Dr. Samuel Gandy, a researcher at Mount Sinai Hospital, says the protein plaques and tangles that make up Alzheimer’s disease begin to build up for largely unknown reasons in men and women in their 50s, if not earlier. "That is very similar to the time when menopause and andropause, the male equivalent, both occur," he says in Big Think's latest special series, Breakthroughs: Alzheimer's Disease. "That coincidence has sparked a lot of interest to understand if the hormonal changes are sort of the trigger that determine the midlife turn towards Alzheimer’s disease."

Develop mindfulness to boost your creative intelligence

Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.

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  • Try meditation for the first time with this guided lesson or, if you already practice, enjoy being guided by a world-renowned meditation expert.
  • Sharon Salzberg teaches mindfulness meditation for Big Think Edge.
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Google Maps apologizes for going rogue in Japan

The navigation tool has placed a school in the sea, among other things.

Strange Maps
  • Google has apologized for the sudden instability of its maps in Japan.
  • Errors may stem from Google's long-time map data provider Zenrin – or from the cancellation of its contract.
  • Speculation on the latter option caused Zenrin shares to drop 16% last Friday.
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MIT study: 24-hour fasting regenerates stem cells, doubles metabolism

This gives credence to the 5-2 diet, which has recently gained in popularity thanks to a large celebrity following.

Pexels, user @Deena
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Chances are you're probably thinking about food right now in some capacity. Maybe it's close to dinner and you're wondering what you are going to eat. Maybe you had a really good lunch and are fondly reminiscing about your BLT, or whatnot. Or maybe, just maybe, you're thinking about not eating food for a while. 

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A new theory explains Jupiter’s perplexing origin

A new computer model solves a pair of Jovian riddles.

(NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill)
Surprising Science
  • Astronomers have wondered how a gas giant like Jupiter could sit in the middle of our solar system's planets.
  • Also unexplained has been the pair of asteroid clusters in front of and behind Jupiter in its orbit.
  • Putting the two questions together revealed the answer to both.
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