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Women's brains '3 years younger' than men's


Posted on Tuesday, 5 February, 2019 | Comment icon 5 comments

The study could help shed light on neurodegenerative diseases. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason
A new study has indicated that women's brains are slightly younger than men's of the same age.
The discovery was made by scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who used PET scans to study the flow of oxygen and glucose in the brains of 205 people.

They found that women's brains were around three years younger, metabolically speaking, which may explain why women tend to stay mentally sharp for slightly longer than men as they age.

"We're just starting to understand how various sex-related factors might affect the trajectory of brain aging and how that might influence the vulnerability of the brain to neurodegenerative diseases," said senior author and assistant professor of radiology Manu Goyal.

"Brain metabolism might help us understand some of the differences we see between men and women as they age."

The study found that this difference in brain age was detectable even in participants as young as 20.

"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.

"What we don't know is what it means. I think this could mean that the reason women don't experience as much cognitive decline in later years is because their brains are effectively younger, and we're currently working on a study to confirm that."

Source: Science Daily | Comments (5)

Tags: Brain

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Habitat on 5 February, 2019, 12:09
I wonder how well that agrees with the impressions we get from simple observation. ( women being "sharper" with old age.) I can't say I've noticed it, but maybe I am already losing the mental acuity needed to judge ! However, women live by that much longer anyway, so maybe they need that 4 year lag to get to the end of life with enough "marbles" to cope.
Comment icon #2 Posted by susieice on 5 February, 2019, 13:13
I tend to agree with Habitat about simple observation. There are so many factors that can play into this. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by AllPossible on 5 February, 2019, 23:58
Wait till my wife gets a hold of this article. It will be printed out and stuck on the fridge for a month
Comment icon #4 Posted by paperdyer on 6 February, 2019, 3:44
So woen are more mature at the same age as a man and now younger mentally, too?  Boy are we getting the wrong end of the stick!
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sheltie on 13 February, 2019, 1:02
This study is interesting but it fails to address the more significant fact that women are more likely than men to develop dementia as they age.   https://www.alzheimers.net/8-12-15-why-is-alzheimers-more-likely-in-women/ Both my mother and my maternal grandmother suffered from dementia.  None of the men in my immediate family ever had problems.  


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