Women’s brains are ‘Younger’ than men’s brains?


ACCORDING to new research from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, women’s brains appear to be on average three years younger than the brains of men of the same chronological age.
That difference is present from young adulthood through senior years, which means women’s brains also age more slowly than men’s brains.
The human brain tends to shrink with age. Brains also change how they make and use the primary source of energy, which is a type of sugar called glucose.
The changes may happen to men and women equally, but men’s brains start at a disadvantage and remain metabolically older than women’s brains throughout their lives, despite any age-related shifts.
To find these differences, the researchers recruited more than 200 adults, ages 20 to 82, to take part in a series of PET scans.
These imaging tests helped the study authors measure the flow of oxygen and glucose in the brains.
They also looked at the level of aerobic glycolysis, a process by which the brain converts glucose to energy. Younger brains have higher levels of aerobic glycolysis. That number dips as people age.
They then took the men’s brain measurements and fed them to a machine-learning algorithm they created for this study. The computer then developed a relationship between the men’s brain age and their brain’s metabolic data.
When they fed the women’s brain metabolism data to the algorithm, the program found that, on average, female brains were 3.8 years younger than male brains.
When they did the experiment in reverse, first teaching the algorithm with women’s data, then using the men’s data, the difference shrank, but men’s brains still remained 2.4 years older than their true ages.
Men and women alike can take steps to improve their brain health.
She told Healthline that these lifestyle choices are healthy for more than just your brain. They can significantly improve your overall health.
Eat a brain-healthy and heart-healthy diet: “It’s different from person to person, but having a good vascular system makes a big difference in how your brain functions. A lot of the things people are told to do to improve vascular problems, such as having a healthy diet that is low in bad fats and high in good fats, or a Mediterranean-style diet, can help vascular health,” Risacher said.
Get moving: “You don’t have to be a super athlete, but keeping yourself physically fit so your cells can process glucose well is important,” Risacher said.