Alzheimer's: New Study Finds Big Differences in Male and Female Brain Activity
According to new research, it turns out there might be a big difference in brain activity between the genders.
Dr. Daniel G. Amen is a psychiatrist and brain disorder specialist from Newport, California. He’s part of a team that studies Alzheimer’s dementia, which is more commonly found in women than in men. He also noticed that most brain disorders tend to affect one gender more than the other. He realized that if he could find out what makes men and women’s brains different, he might be able to discover something new about these diseases.
As per a new research study, it was reported that there is a big difference in the brain activity of both genders when it comes to diseases such as Alzheimer’s dementia, which is known to be a rather common occurrence in women, and conversely, it was also noticed that certain brain disorders are known to mostly affect the male population. Dr. Daniel, who was leading the research, had mentioned that he would need to find out exactly what makes the brains of men and women so different; then he could also discover something new about these kinds of diseases.
Women are known to be highly prone to diseases such as depression, Alzheimer’s dementia, and anxiety, along with several disorders of the mood. Once out of puberty, women are known to be twice as likely to become depressed or anxious during their lifetime. In the case of males, autism is seen as a common occurrence in boys and is mostly detected at a very young age. Some of them may experience mild cases, though, and are even able to function well with the help of certain therapies. Also, compared to girls, boys are known to be four to five times more likely to develop ADHD, wherein an individual has difficulty focusing on any given task for a longer duration of time.
All of these diseases are known to have one common aspect, and that is the heightened risk of them manifesting depending on one’s gender. But the question arises as to how does one’s gender play a role in the development of these diseases? The research study recently conducted found a big difference in the brain activity between the male and female genders. Women were seen to have more areas of the brain light up as compared to those of their male counterparts, and they were also said to have a greater flow of blood. Specifically, there were 65 active regions on average in the brains of the female participants, whereas in the male brains, there was only an average of 9 active regions. In regards to the women, the emotional part became active, which is the reason for depression and anxiety. They also displayed an active prefrontal cortex, which is known to house the personality and decision making skills. Men were observed to show high activity in certain regions of the brain as well. The blood flow happened mostly in areas of motor and visual functions, thus linking men up with sports-related activities. Dr. Amen has stated there is still a need for further research in these areas since, if one can determine how an individual’s biological sex puts one at risk of certain kinds of brain-related disorders, then that person can form a better plan to prevent their development as well. By understanding the risk factors, one can look for ways to avoid them in the first place.