Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Gender differences in brain development
I'm always amazed at the questions that scientists DON'T ask . . . everyday questions (if you think about human structure and function every day) that nobody has really looked at in the laboratory.
Both gender differences and normal aging are topics that are WAY under-researched in my opinion.
So it's interesting when new experiments in these areas are done . . . and what they reveal.
A recent article in the web-only version of Science News summarizes one such study that gives us new insights to the way that men's and women's brains age. The research, not yet published as I write this, suggests that age-related changes to the brain in older adulthood are different in men than in women. In this study, the "changes" were changes in levels of gene activity.
For example, the study suggests that men show age-related changes in the genes that regulate metabolic activity earlier than in women--at about age 60. But then the changes level off in men until about age 80. Women seem to start these changes later but don't appear to level off . . . they just keep going.
The authors of the study told Science News reporter Tina Hesman Saey that such metabolic changes in aging may perhaps be mitigated by health management strategies such as exercise.
Which remind me . . . it's time for my walk.