Female Brains Appear to Be More Youthful Than Male Ones, Study Suggests

Faith Castro
February 6, 2019

The research has revealed that women's brains appear to be about three years younger than men's of the same age.

The staff initially hoped to make use of the metabolic info to foretell an individual's age so that they had a pc research how metabolism modified in each woman and men. "We trained a machine-learning algorithm to find a relationship between age and brain metabolism by feeding it the men's ages and brain metabolism data", Goyal said.

While age reduces the metabolism of all brains, women retain a higher rate throughout the lifespan, researchers reported Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "It's not that men's brains age faster - they start adulthood about three years older than women, and that persists throughout life", said Goyal.

Subjects ranged from their 20s to 80s, and across those age spans, women's brains appeared metabolically younger than men's, said the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed United States journal.

Also, the relative youthfulness of women's brains was detectable even among the youngest participants, who were in their 20s. "The average difference in calculated brain age between men and women is significant and reproducible, but it is only a fraction of the difference between any two individuals", stated Manu Goyal, an assistant professor of radiology at the Washington University's Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.

Over time, the brain changes how it uses glucose, or sugar, as a process called aerobic glycolysis drops to low levels by the time we reach around the age of 60.

Prior work has identified many sex differences in the brain, including during brain aging and in neurodegenerative diseases.

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The researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which produce detailed images that show how the brain is working. They found that on average, men's brains are 2.4 older than their chronological age.

For the new study, the researchers analyzed PET scans of 205 adults, all cognitively normal.

But researchers have understood little about how brain metabolism differs between men and women. However the rates tend to be faster among men than women, they found. Sex differences during brain development, then, might set the stage for the overall trajectory of brain aging. However, she cautions that regardless that females' mind metabolism is increased general, some female's brains expertise a dramatic metabolic decline around menopause, leaving them susceptible to Alzheimer's.

Scientists have seen a variety of sex differences in the brain, including stress response, some gene expression and disease. "Estrogen, which increases vitality of the brain regions involved in memory, but which plummets after menopause in women, may be a factor, although multiple other factors are likely involved".

Regardless of the trigger, increased metabolism could give female brains an edge in the case of studying and creativity in later life, Goyal says.

The researchers suspect that women gain this advantage during puberty, Goyal said.

At any age, you can help protect your health by having a balanced diet, taking regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight, not smoking and drinking in moderation.

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