LARGEST functional brain imaging study to date has identified specific brain differences between women and men, according to a new report in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The researchers compared 46,034 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging studies provided by nine clinics, quantifying differences between the brains of men and women.
According to Founder of Amen Clinics Inc., Psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen said that the study shows that brains of women were significantly more active in many more areas of the brain than men, especially in the prefrontal cortex, involved with focus and impulse control, and the limbic or emotional areas of the brain, involved with mood and anxiety.
“This is a very important study to help understand gender-based brain differences. The quantifiable differences we identified between men and women are important for understanding gender-based risk for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Using functional neuroimaging tools, such as SPECT, are essential to developing precision medicine brain treatments in the future.
“The visual and coordination centres of the brain were more active in men. Subjects included 119 healthy volunteers and 26,683 patients with a variety of psychiatric conditions such as brain trauma, bipolar disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia/psychotic disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Understanding these differences is important because brain disorders affect men and women differently.
Women have significantly higher rates of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, which in itself is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and anxiety disorders, while men have higher rates of (ADHD), conduct-related problems, and incarceration (by 1,400 percent).
Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Dean of the College of Sciences at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Dr. George Perry said, “Precisely defining the physiological and structural basis of gender differences in brain function will illuminate Alzheimer’s disease and understanding our partners.”