Researchers from the University of Szeged in Hungary drew their conclusions from scanning the brains of 53 men and 50 women, with an average age of 32 (ages ranged from 21 to 58). The results showed differences between the sexes in their sub cortical brain structures.
Alongside men’s grey matter declining at a faster rate than women’s, men also lose more matter than women in the caudate nucleus and the putamen volume, the part of the brain that deals with movement and emotional processing.
Results have been published in the journal Brain Imaging and Behaviour, with the scientists calling the findings “striking”.
“Strikingly, grey matter volume decreases faster in males than in females emphasising the interplay between ageing and gender on sub cortical structures,” they wrote.
“Changes of sub cortical structures have been consistently related to several neuropsychiatric disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, etc.). Understanding these changes might yield further insight in the course and prognosis of these disorders.”
It was also shown that the thalamus (brain’s main relay station for passing information around the brain) is also impacted.
Researchers noted their work may be able to inform treatment of other neurological disorders like ADHD.
Previous studies support the new findings, and have found men are twice as likely to get Parkinson’s as women. The disease affects roughly 127,000 people in the UK.
Men are also known to have larger brains than women.
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