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What Are the Physical Differences between Men and Women That Affect Cognition as They Age?

Women have been found to have faster blood flow to the brain than men do, which might help reduce the effects of aging on cognition. Men tend to lose brain tissue at a faster rate as they age, which might make them more susceptible to age-related cognition effects, such as impulsiveness and memory loss. The decrease of brain tissue in men generally occurs in the left frontal cortex, the area of the brain primarily responsible for thinking through consequences and self-control. It starts around the age of 45 and is thought to contribute to men having more severe cases of midlife crises than women do.

More about gender differences in cognition:

  • Men typically have larger brains that contain more cerebrospinal fluid. This is thought to help cushion the brain and make men less likely to suffer brain damage from trauma than women are.

  • Women’s brains have been found to release higher amounts of stress hormones, which might destroy brain tissue, than men's brains do. Prolonged stress might make women more likely to exhibit memory loss as they age than men are.

  • A University of California Irvine study found that after age 90, the chances of developing dementia increased by 50% every five years for women but not men, although it is not known why this might occur.

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More Info: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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