Female and male brains age differently and women's brains remain "fresher" over time. This analysis will help to better understand the nature of neurodegenerative diseases that arise with advancing age
Brains of women versus that of men: for the same age, that of girls is biologically three years younger. This applies to both the elderly and the young and could explain why women tend to be less vulnerable to neurodegenerative diseases.
This was announced by research conducted at the University of Washington in St. Louis, which wanted to clarify above all why women are more likely to remain mentally strong over the years and into old age.
"We are just beginning to understand how various sex-related factors could affect the trajectory of brain aging and how this could affect the brain's vulnerability to neurodegenerative diseases," explains senior author Manu Goyal, MD. The metabolism of the brain could help us understand some of the differences we see between men and women as they age. "
It is in fact precisely the metabolism the data around which the scientists moved, who scanned the brains of 205 volunteers (121 women and 84 men between 20 and 82 years) through a positron emission tomography (the so-called PET exam).
The brain also works thanks to sugar, but the way the brain uses it changes as people grow and age. Babies and teens use some of their "brain fuel" in a process called aerobic glycolysis which supports brain development and maturation. The rest of the sugar is burned to fuel actions such as thinking or moving. There glucose fraction used in the reaction it decreases a lot with the passage of time and reaches its lowest levels around 60 years of age.
Now, this metabolic process that indicates the "youth" of the brain is different between men and women. After identifying how much sugar was consumed by each participant's brain through PET, they trained an algorithm (with machine learning) that would determine an association between the participant's age and brain metabolism.
The results showed that women's brains are on average 3 years younger than men's and not only that: the female brain would also be more active in recognizing and processing the emotions of others. Understanding these differences will help us understand how various brain disorders and neurodegenerative diseases affect men and women differently.
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