Friday, 22 February, 2019


Women's brains are four years younger than men's on average

Women's brains are four years younger than men's on average Women stay sharper than men in old age because their brains 'are four years younger', study finds
Patty Aguilar | 06 February, 2019, 23:14

The findings, available online the week of February 4 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could be one clue to why women tend to stay mentally sharp longer than men.

A new study released yesterday found out that women's brains appear to be about three years younger than men's of the same chronological age.

For the study, researchers analyzed head scans of 205 cognitively normal adults between the ages of 20 and 82.

The researchers are now following a group of adults as they age to see whether people with younger-looking brains are less likely to develop thinking problems.

The study exclusively focused on brain metabolism, or the brain's ability to use glucose-aka sugar-to function.

"On average, it found that women appeared to be younger than men in terms of their metabolic brain age, in terms of what their brain metabolism pattern looked like", he said.

It was already known that men's brains shrink faster with age than women's, but the new results suggest their brain metabolism is different too. Theorists have predicted that females, generally, might have more youthful brains than males, Goyal and his colleagues note, but until now, scientists seeking to test that have focused on postmortem brain analyses, and their results have been contradictory. "Rather, it seems that women's brains start off at a younger age when they reach adulthood, and they keep that throughout the remainder of their adulthood, basically buying them a few extra years".

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.

However, it is important to note that even the youngest participants, those in their 20s, showed a difference of about three years in age.

A group of researchers from the United States took specialist brain scans from almost 200 healthy adults aged between 20 and 80. "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", Goyal said adding that it is stronger than many sex differences that have been reported, but it is nowhere near as big a difference as some sex differences, such as height.

Women may have the advantage over men when it comes to brainpower. Notably, many of these studies are performed by comparing age-matched females and males. But if true, the researchers hypothesize that having a metabolically "younger" brain might provide women with "some degree of resilience to aging-related changes" in the brain. What this means is that men's brains do not age faster, they simply have a bit older brains, to begin with.

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

"What we don't know is what it means", senior study author Dr. Manu Goyal, an assistant professor of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a statement.

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about the aging brain.

"Certainly, diet and exercise might be part of the equation here and we and others are planning to study this and how body metabolism in general influences brain metabolism in healthy aging and in disease", he said.

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