Women's Brains Are Aging Slower Compared To Men's Brains

Women's Brains Are Aging Slower Compared To Men's Brains

The research team will also investigate why older women tend to score better on brain tests in areas including reason, memory and problem-solving than men.

Now, a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has discovered a distinct difference specifically in our brains' age.

Men's brains are almost four years "older" than those of females the same age, explaining why women stay sharper for longer in old age, according to new research. The difference is consistent from early adulthood into the senior years, reports the Guardian. It's also been demonstrated that gene expression in the brain changes more rapidly in ageing men than women, resulting in a reduced ability to build and break down molecules in the male brain. The difference is a metabolical one, and it may serve to explain why women seem to stay mentally sharp longer than men.

The researchers found that the predicted metabolic age based on the algorithm closely matched the actual age of the person. Study Implication Goyal clarified that the study does not imply that men's brains are aging faster. The answer has been found through research which shows that time wears differently on women's and men's brains.

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

The brain may make up just 2% of our total body mass, but it uses a quarter of our body's total glucose.

Brain scans for men and women aged 20 to 82 found female brains are 3.8 years biologically younger than men's.

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They then fed a machine-learning algorithm the male sample data to establish a relationship between age and brain metabolism.

Their brains appear nearly four years younger than men's on average, a study suggests.

The relative youthfulness of women's brains is detectable even among the youngest participants, said the researchers writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

And while metabolic brain age might be useful to predict the risk of cognitive decline or identify factors that potentially could improve or worsen the trajectory of brain aging, the findings need to be validated in other cohorts, the researchers added.

That may help protect against the loss of grey matter which causes thinking problems in old age, although more research is needed to discover if this is the case.

In fact, brain metabolism might have little to do with diseases like Alzheimer's or dementia, said Dr. Gayatri Devi, a neurologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. But the metabolic brain age was on average 3.8 years younger in women than in men.

To confirm that the female-male difference in metabolic brain age was not specific to training on male data, the researchers flipped the process, training the algorithm on female data only. "I think this could mean that the reason women don't experience as much cognitive decline in later years is that their brains are effectively younger, and we're now working on a study to confirm that".

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