BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New developments in Alzheimer’s research—a disease that is known to be more common for women. Now a study shows how it impacts them differently.

Tracey Leong explains.

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While women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease, the study shows they also decline faster than men.

Laughing and enjoying each others’ company is what Kathy and Jerry Howe love most—taking advantage of their time together before Alzheimer’s Disease takes over.

“Our life is the best it has ever been and I don’t want to lose that,” Jerry Howe said.

Several years ago, Kathy was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, affecting her memory and judgment.

“I’m constantly making notes or telling my husband he’s responsible for remembering all of that,” she said.

She’s at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

“It’s hard to tell what the future is going to have and that’s the part that’s most difficult for me,” Jerry Howe said.

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With her husband by her side—he’s also her caregiver—both are discouraged by the new study out of Duke University Medical Center revealing women face a steeper decline than men and deteriorate twice as fast.

“I’m not giving up,” Jerry said. “I’m doing everything I can.”

A battle millions of Americans are fighting. More than five million people are living with Alzheimer’s Disease and two-thirds of them are women.

The Howes are hoping the study brings scientists one step closer to finding a cure.

“We know the disease process starts 20 years before the diagnosis and in our research, we have gone back in time to ask, is there something that is specific to the female that could put her at risk?” said Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton, University of Southern California.

In the meantime, the Howes are not allowing this disease to rule their lives.

“I laugh about it because if I don’t, I might cry,” Kathy said.

While the study reveals women are more vulnerable, researchers say more needs to be done to understand why.

The study out of Duke University Medical Center followed 400 men and women in their 70s with mild cognitive impairment.

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For more information, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org/maryland