Researchers find men's brains age faster than womens'

07 December 2015

A team of researchers from the University of Szeged has found that men's brains aged faster than women.

The researchers arrived at the conclusion from scanning the brains of 53 men and 50 women, with an average age of 32. The researchers identified differences between the sexes in their sub cortical brain structures, according to the Daily Mail.

According to the study, men lost more matter than women in the caudate nucleus and the putamen volume, the part of the brain that dealt with movement and emotional processing. The researchers wrote "Strikingly, grey matter volume decreases faster in males than in females emphasising the interplay between ageing and gender on sub cortical structures."

The researchers added that changes in the sub cortical structures had been consistently related to several neuropsychiatric disorders (eg, Parkinson's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, etc). Understanding these changes might yield further insight in the course and prognosis of these disorders. They also found that the thalamus (brain's main relay station for passing information around the brain) was also impacted. According to the researchers, their work might be able to inform treatment of other neurological disorders like ADHD.

According to researchers, men were more susceptible to faster brain damage, memory weakening, cognitive impairment and mental diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Scientists had known that grey matter (primarily associated with processing and cognition) present in the brain decreased with age. However, researchers found that grey matter decreased at a much faster rate in men when compared to women.

According to commentators, the results might help in developing treatments for mental disorders like Alzheimer's that kicked in at older age as the study might yield further insight in the course and prognosis of these disorders.

The study is published in the journal Brain Imaging and Behaviour.

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