A new health study claims women tend to outlive men and stay mentally sharp longer as their brain age much more slowly as compared to their men counterpart.
For the purpose of the study, the researchers made more than 200 men and women participants, ranging in age from 20 to 82 years, go through PET scans to measure oxygen and glucose flow in their brains. The researchers created algorithms to calculate the metabolic ages of the participants, which they compared to their chronological ages, reported Eyewitness News.
The study results found that women’s brains were metabolically younger than men. A machine-learned algorithm found that women’s brains were on average about 3.8 years younger than their chronological ages. This suggests that changes in how the brain uses energy over a person’s lifetime proceed more gradually in women than they do in men.
“It’s not that men’s brains age faster – they start adulthood about three years older than women, and that persists throughout life,” said Dr. Manu Goyal, the study lead scientist from Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis.
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.
“What we don’t know is what it means,” the lead author said. “I think this could mean that the reason women don’t experience as much cognitive decline in later years is that their brains are effectively younger, and we’re currently working on a study to confirm that.”
The research team will also investigate why older women tend to score better on brain tests in areas including reason, memory and problem-solving than men.
The research finding was published in the in the peer-reviewed science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.