Scientists suggested that higher levels of youthful glycolysis may explain why women aren't as susceptible to memory loss and brain diseases as they get older.
The researchers studied 121 women and 84 men, ranging in age from 20 to 82 years. Whereas age reduces the metabolism of all brains, girls retain the next price all through the lifespan, researchers reported Monday within the journal Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences.
"Females had a younger brain age relative to males", says Dr. Manu Goyal, an assistant professor of radiology and neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Then, the team entered women's brain metabolism data into the algorithm and directed the program to calculate each woman's brain age from its metabolism.
Goyal said that more research work is being done to confirm and better understand the implications of the research, which could even explain why women tend to stave off cognitive decline for longer. "It's not that men's brains age faster - they start adulthood about three years older than women, and that persists throughout life", Goyal said. More brain sugar is devoted to aerobic glycolysis in children and young adults, but the fraction drops steadily with age, leveling off at very low amounts by the time people are in their 60s, Goyal and co-authors noted.
The researchers are now following a group of adults as they age to see whether people with younger-looking brains are less likely to develop thinking problems.
Then they reversed the process and had the computer estimate a person's age based on brain metabolism data. The algorithm estimated the women's brains to be 3.8 years younger than their real ages (95% CI 1.0-6.6 years, P 0.010 t test), on average. Notably, many of these studies are performed by comparing age-matched females and males.
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When it comes to brains, it's women who have staying power, according to the latest research. However, she cautions that regardless that females' mind metabolism is increased general, some female's brains expertise a dramatic metabolic decline around menopause, leaving them susceptible to Alzheimer's.
"We found that the machine learning technique typically guessed a slightly younger age for women than their actual age", he said. "This difference is present even in brains that show amyloid plaques that are seen in Alzheimer's disease, although none of the persons had any clinical symptoms of the condition", Devi said of the new findings.
The researchers suspect that women gain this advantage during puberty, Goyal said. But Roberta Diaz Brinton, who studies brain aging at the University of Arizona, has a more optimistic take on the results.
Time wears differently on women's and men's brains.
Women's brains appeared about four years younger, on average.
At any age, you can help protect your health by having a balanced diet, taking regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight, not smoking and drinking in moderation.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about the aging brain.