Is Alzheimer's more aggressive in a men?

6 answers | Last updated: Sep 13, 2016
Mpedroza asked...

my dad has alzheimers and he is very mean with my mother,always tell her that she have another man and a little agressive,is that normal for a man or some cases only?

Expert Answers

Brenda Avadian, brings knowledge, hope, and joy to family caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer's and dementia. She cared for her father with Alzheimer's and helps families one-on-one and in groups. She is the author of eight books, including the pioneering memoir "Where's my shoes?" My Father's Walk through Alzheimer's and the Finding the JOY in Alzheimer's series. She presents vivid, compelling, and funny keynotes to both professional and family caregiving audiences.

I can't say I've seen any research to suggest that Alzheimer's is more aggressive in men.

Instead, what seems to be happening is your dad has entered the paranoid stage of the disease's decline. Women go through this too.

The paranoid stage is filled with accusations not only of infidelity but also of theft. You're taking my things.

This is a difficult stage for family members to deal with until the disease progresses further and he no longer lashes out in such an aggressive manner.

Know that if he didn't have this disease, he would not likely behave this way (assuming he was not as aggressive before being diagnosed with Alzheimer's).

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Community Answers

Alan currie answered...

I have demeica. And Iam not aggressive

Ca-claire answered...

I wonder if the difference between AD in Men and Women is due to the fact that Women are accustomed to holding in or hiding their emotions/needs, whereas men are accustomed to just letting it out and getting it over with. You know, the Mars/Venus thing.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I wonder if the meanness is a guy thing as well? I see more kindness in women with AD, it seems they are grateful for attention and help. I am a caregiver to my brother who at times can be mean towards me only, around everyone else he gives off the impression that he is sweet as pie. He also knows when to pick the right time to be mean, making sure it's one on one, no witness, scary and intimidating. I know it's partly the disease, but his personality as well I believe coming thru from teen years. I can remember him being mean to our mom, never when dad was around, able to make her cry with his actions/words, it was sad to watch. It's a "roller coaster ride," for sure. The disease has been life changing for him, for us. "Fasten my seatbelt," I was told. It is! God Bless All Caregivers

Ca-claire answered...

As each of us age, our qualities (good or not so great) intensify, so it's possible men become more aggressive, as a loss of control can be construed as a loss of 'manhood' or 'machismo'.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Thank you CA-Claire, excellent point. I know being the younger sister/now caregiver may not be working for my brother, I'm not a wife or girlfriend so assisting him can be challenging. He was always the boss with me growing up, could be tough. His "nasty pants" personality is certainly still evident with me, probably due to the aging and/or AD as well (certainly contributing). I take each day and moment as they come.