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Can pregnancy history lead to Alzheimer's?

Posted at 10:20 AM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 10:20:59-04

Could a woman's pregnancy history influence her risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease? A new study suggests the two may be linked.

Researchers in South Korea combined data on more than 35-hundred women. Those who'd given birth to at least five children were more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Conversely, the risk was lower among women who had incomplete pregnancies, through either miscarriage, or abortion. The key seems to be the varying levels of estrogen throughout different phases of pregnancy.

The study doesn't mean women should alter family planning for Alzheimer's protection, but it could someday lead to hormone-based prevention strategies.