According to scientists, the gap in life expectancy between men and women could finally be established with the help of a simple blood test that might determine if men are likely to develop Alzheimer due to an important genetic material loss in later life.
The latest research has shown that from the moment men lose their Y sex chromosome, they become very vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, smoking is known to increase dramatically the risk of losing the Y chromosome, meaning that the lost genetic material might also be related to cancer.
Scientists believe that Y chromosome is essential for the standard function of the immune system and without it, the body has a hard time trying to eliminate amyloid plaques and cancerous cells in the brain which lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
A team of researcher from Uppsala University in Sweden discovered that it is possible to make a test to determine if the chromosome is lost. It might be a breakthrough that could improve and extend screening that would establish which men are more vulnerable to this disease. It means that it would be possible to prevent any health issues.
According to Prof. Lars Forsberg of Uppsala University, with the help of this test, medical practitioners will be able to detect a disease early. For instance, standard tumors are not usually life threatening. The metastatic process is what makes them deadly.
If doctors could establish which men have an increased risk, they could be carefully observed and offered proper treatment to tackle the disease. This prediction could help doctors to decrease mortality rates radically.
Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, 22 which are identical, called autosomes, and a 23rd pair which are the sex chromosomes. Men have one Y and one X chromosome, whereas women have two copies of the X chromosome.
It was thought that women live longer just because they cannot lose the Y chromosome thanks to the fact that they don’t have one. However, in Britain was established that men are expected to live until 83.2, whereas women until 79.5.
Up to 20 percent of men which are more than 80 years old are known to be affected by the loss of the Y chromosome, known as LOY. The team of researchers studied over 3,200 men with a standard age of 73 and learned that 17 percent of them showed LOY in blood cells that increased with age.
Further research must be conducted but even if there is no cure for Alzheimer until now, a healthy lifestyle is our best bet to prevent this disease.