Sex differences in Alzheimer's disease (AD) biology and progression are not yet fully characterized. The goal of this study is to examine the effect of sex on cognitive progression in subjects with high likelihood of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer's and followed up to 10 years in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). Cerebrospinal fluid total-tau and amyloid-beta (Aβ42) ratio values were used to sub-classify 559 MCI subjects (216 females, 343 males) as having "high" or "low" likelihood for MCI due to Alzheimer's. Data were analyzed using mixed-effects models incorporating all follow-ups. The worsening from baseline in Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive score (mean, SD) (9 ± 12) in subjects with high likelihood of MCI due to Alzheimer's was markedly greater than that in subjects with low likelihood (1 ± 6, p < 0.0001). Among MCI due to AD subjects, the mean worsening in cognitive score was significantly greater in females (11.58 ± 14) than in males (6.87 ± 11, p = 0.006). Our findings highlight the need to further investigate these findings in other populations and develop sex specific timelines for Alzheimer's disease progression.
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