Women's Brains Stay Sharper Longer Than Men's, New Study Finds

Written by Elizabeth Gerson

Image by Inti St. Clair / Stocksy

In the battle of the sexes, women may just have their male counterparts beat when it comes to brain health. A recent study found that women's brains age much more slowly than men's, accounting for about a 3.8-year difference.

More than 200 men and women underwent PET scans, which was then interpreted by an algorithm, as well as data on healthy controls, to determine each individual's age. For men and women of the same chronological age, the algorithm guessed the women were actually three years younger.

The study solely focused on brain metabolism, or the brain's ability to use glucose—aka sugar—to function. By having "younger" brains, women utilize glucose in a more efficient way.

Brain-related aging disorders like Alzheimer's or dementia can affect anyone but affect women more often, which researchers attribute to the fact that women live longer. However, women typically retain brain health longer than men, delaying signs of these diseases.

Looking ahead, researchers plan on taking a deeper dive into the relationship between these "younger" brains and cognitive issues. As for now, you can take your brain health into your own hands by eating the right foods and exercising to stay sharp for as long as you can.

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