Thursday, March 14, 2019

Study revealed: Female brains look years younger than men

Women tend to live longer than men and stay mentally full longer, and a study published on Monday could explain why: female brains look on average three years younger than male brains.
The study involved 121 women and 84 men who underwent tomography to measure brain metabolism or the flow of oxygen and glucose in their brains.
Like other organs of the body, the brain uses sugar as fuel. But the way it metabolizes glucose can reveal a lot about the metabolic age of the brain.
The subjects were between 20 and 80 years old. In those age brackets, the brains of women seemed metabolically younger than men's, said the findings published in the American journal Actas of the National Academy of Sciences.
An algorithm showed that the brains of women were on average about 3.8 years younger than their chronological ages. In comparison, males were approximately 2.4 years older than their actual ages.
"It's not that the brains of men age faster," said lead author Manu Goyal, an assistant professor of radiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis.
"They begin adulthood about three years older than women, and that persists throughout life," he said.
But why?
One theory is that hormones could begin to shape brain metabolism at an early age, setting women in a younger pattern throughout their lives, compared to men.
Scientists hope to discover if metabolic differences in the brain can play a protective role for women, who tend to have better grades than men in the cognitive tests of reason, memory and problem solving in old age.
"It could mean that the reason why women do not experience so much cognitive decline in later years is because their brains are actually younger," Goyal said.

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