LGBT Americans report increased rates of memory loss and confusion — two early signs of dementia — compared to their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts, a large survey has found. The observations present new risk factors to consider for Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, and raise questions about the potential influence of social stressors.

“This idea that LGBT people might have more … subjective cognitive impairment is a very interesting one,” said Yaakov Stern, a professor of neuropsychology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Stern was not involved in the research but said colleagues undertaking a small pilot study of cognition in the LGBT community around the New York area have “very similar findings.”

 

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